“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” – James 4:2-3 (NIV).
Today’s younger generation tends to prefer vegetables to meats. In some instances it has become a sort of status symbol for one to describe themselves as a vegetarian. However, long before meat delicacy was the ultimate dish. On big days like Easter and Christmas, a home had to be so poor to dine on vegetables, forsaking the sumptuous taste of meat.
Looked from today’s lenses, going to the first Biblical family, Cain would be referred to as a proud vegetarian. “Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was one who worked the ground. The day came when Cain brought a gift of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. But Abel brought a gift of the first-born of his flocks and of the fat parts” (Gen 4:2-4).
Abel’s gift was apparently more pleasing to the Lord, and this did not go down well with our vegetarian. Cain got mad. “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why are you looking down? Will not your face be happy if you do well? If you do not do well, sin is waiting to destroy you. Its desire is to rule over you, but you must rule over it” (vv 6-7).
Cain did not take to this advice, where he could also have started to rear animals. Enraged he pursued his brother. “And when they were in the field, Cain stood up against his brother Abel and killed him” (vv8).
Cain’s rage was motivated because of envy. Observing his gift was of lesser value his way of resolving this mess was to execute his brother. But that was a foolhardy act and it bore him a stiff penalty. “The Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer give its strength to you. You will always travel from place to place on the earth” (vv 10-12).
Such is one consequence of what envy can do. It blinds one of rationality as we see here. For all attempts the world we live in is not of equals. However, where we feel we have something of less value instead of being consumed with anger let’s purpose to do well with what we have, and the Lord will be pleased to bless us more.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for all you have given me which inspires me to continue doing well and receive more of your blessings, this I pray in Jesus’s name.