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09/01/2023 - 10/01/2023 All day

"For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind"    (James 3:16)

Cain and Abel were sons of Adam. Sibling rivalry are common but one would think that in a wide virgin land just teaming with all kinds of animals for game meat there was no need to compete. After all there was plenty around. Anyway when one day the brothers presented their offerings to God, "The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor"  ( Genesis 4: 4). What happened thereafter was a tale to tell.

"So Cain was very angry and his face downcast" (vv 5). The Lord was concerned and asked what was the matter, pointing to him, "If you do what is right will you not be accepted?" (vv 6). All Cain needed was to capture and sacrifice some game too, like his brother and, then present  "an acceptable offering to the Lord!" Never mind that. Cain held on to a simmering grudge. One day out in the field, "Cain attacked his brother and killed him" ( vv 8).

And instead of relief life was never the same. Not only had he lost a brother the Lord came down and said, "What have you done? Listen. Your brothers blood cries out from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened it's mouth to receive your brothers blood from your hand. When you work the ground it will no longer yield it's crop for you. You will be a restless wanderer on earth"  ( vv 10-11).

All caused by envy. A matter which Cain could have saved himself of by doing just as good as the Lord had asked- just do the right thing!

It's a long time ago and little has since changed. When the Lord blesses someone there's is always one who instead of rejoicing and inquiring of the Lord sulks and bids time to "get even"! Intense and reckless rivalry is now born. Within families, blood relatives have been known to go for each other's throats, and just because someone felt sidelined, ultimately leading him to go for the dagger.

The Cain spirit of envy leads to the spilling of "innocent blood" and of which there are bitter consequences. Cain should have rejoiced in his brother's good fortune, did good in the eyes of the Lord and all would be well. Unfortunately an evil spirit took the better part of him and the results were not good.

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, the Cain spirit of envy still haunts us on on earth, and today I pray to be delivered of that envious spirit, for your blessings await the one who does right, this I pray in Jesus' name.

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    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

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    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.