We have quite a few expressions in the English language that involve doors. An opportunity is often called an “open door.” If “opportunity is knocking” at your door, a response is needed. If you encounter a small opportunity, you might only have your “foot in the door.” And if you face a “closed door,” you can still succeed by going through the “back door.”
The expression that is the title for today’s devotional comes from the story of Cain and Abel. Today we begin the second section of this month’s study. While we first looked at Israel’s history through sin and judgment back to God’s love and faithfulness, we will repeat that sequence, on a larger scale, focusing on Christ’s redemption. We begin again with sin—not the Fall but with the murder of Abel by Cain.
With Cain’s birth, the narrative begins in hope. Childbearing was seen as honoring and imitating the Creator. “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man,” Eve said (v. 1). One translation has it, “I have created a man just as the Lord did!” Then something goes terribly wrong. God accepts Abel’s offering but not Cain’s, no doubt because of their differing heart attitudes and obedience. God hadn’t given up on Cain, though, as He counseled him to resist temptation (vv. 6–7). “Sin is crouching at your door,” He warned. “Crouching” is an ancient Babylonian word referring to a demon waiting to pounce. It also suggests a hunting animal closing in on its prey. Temptation is a serious life-and-death struggle! Cain, however, gave in to temptation, murdered Abel, and tried to hide it from God (vv. 8–9). Still, God showed him mercy: Cain didn’t pay with his life, but instead was condemned to wander under God’s protection (vv. 10–16).
>> Just as God personally advised Cain about fighting temptation, in the same way Jesus is available to help us resist sin. After all, Jesus Himself was tempted in every way just as we are (Heb. 4:15–16). He stands waiting to help!