Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sibling Rivalry


1 The man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have produced a man with the help of the LORD."
2 Next she bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.
3 In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the soil,
4 while Abel, for his part, brought one of the best firstlings of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
6 So the LORD said to Cain: "Why are you so resentful and crestfallen?
7 If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field." When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He answered, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
10 The LORD then said: "What have you done! Listen: your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!

Genesis 4:1-10

It's pretty sad when we think about how jealousy can rule a person. Just thinking how we all go through moments as kids when a toy is given to a sibling and it's something we would want rather than what we received. And it happens in our day all the time. But from the beginning we are reading of this when there are only two that are involved, not huge groups of people. And in this instance it was the first born to be jealous of his brother. We see many times in family life where it is either the first born who merits much from the head of the family or it's the youngest. But we have had years and years of those who had done it before us as models. To witness to the rivalry between family. And the question is often why did it happen with the first family. Yet the very head is God himself. They communicated with him throughout their growing years. God knew their hearts better than they did. Cains offering was beautiful, but when he offered it, it wasn't with a heart filled with love. This might have been the difference in how it was presented to our Lord and Father. When reflecting upon this, how is our offerings to God? Are they meager with half a heart or is it with all of our being when we offer all our sacrifices. When we work do we offer it completely, when we pray do we offer it all or part of it. I could go on but I think this is enough to help us think about how we truly offer our own sacrifices. It's all in how our hearts offer it.

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