The LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.’
(Gen 4:6-7 ESV)
As I have begun my quest to read through the Bible, I was struck by this passage. It came right after Cain and Abel presented their sacrifices to God and He favored Abel’s over Cain. However, when God saw the dejected spirit of Cain He offered Him a chance of stepping off of his dangerous path. He told Cain to do well like Abel (offering even when it is difficult) and receive acceptance. Cain simply did not like this advice.
The picture of sin crouching at the door is particularly vivid to me. While Abel offered a more acceptable gift and received faith (Heb 11:4), Cain was about to receive punishment for where his mind was leading him. He did not stop and consider that the valley he was descending on was deadly.
Cain did not comprehend that sin desired his very life. He did realize that it wanted to master him. While we are all enslaved to our passions, it is important to root ourselves in Christ where the passions are altered. James reminds us that we are lured away, enticed by our own desires and ultimately give birth to the very death of us. That is why we are told about the necessity to take every thought into captivity and bring it to God. He must fundamentally change our way of seeing and being.
Take heed, for sin’s desire is to enslave and destroy us.