Summary: Many ask Christians this question believing that because evil exists then that must mean there is no God, but that is a false argument. If God is good then how can there be genocide in Rwanda and shootings in high schools? How do you answer people when th
There isn’t anyone alive that would deny the existence of evil, but what is our response to it from a biblical perspective? We see its impact around us all the time yet many people struggle to define. Where does evil come from? Many ask Christians this question believing that because evil exists then that must mean there is no God, but that is a false argument. If God is good then how can there be genocide in Rwanda and shootings in high schools? How do you answer people when the question comes? This morning we are going to look at a story in Genesis that is a familiar reminder of how quickly we are overcome by our nature when left to our own wisdom. The world puts out the lie that evil is not in us, the bible clearly states in many places that we are evil by nature, Paul goes as far to say in Romans 7:18, “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned.” The bible suggests that we need to be delivered from our evil nature while the world tells us to embrace our true nature. Who’s lying? Let’s look at Cain and Able’s story to see where evil comes from.
1. Dealing with self (vs 1-7)
Cain and Able are the first sons of Adam and Eve. They are both farmers and appear to both be men who want to come and offer God worship at the time of harvest. God accepts Able’s offering but not Cain’s. This makes Cain angry and God tells him to get into the right place in his heart or watch out. Cain was in a place where his ‘self’ was wounded and offended by God’s actions. His anger was directed towards his brother. In this moment of anger the Lord warned him graciously, but he was hurt. No sin had been committed yet, but God knew the outcome of his thinking. The nature of man was on display for us who are reading to see. Cain, unfortunately, did not heed the warnings of God and chose to entertain his hurt and gave into his thinking.
Ever been mad? Someone ever made you angry? Isn’t it amazing what stirs up inside of us when we are angry? I have seen things done by angry people that are bizarre and crazy, things that go against who they seem to be. Get in touch with your inner self, let it flourish, if you let him guide your life you will be healthy, fruitful, and happy. This is what Abraham Maslow, a popular humanist, said was the way to building great societies, self-actualisation. Humanists have come to believe that man is by nature good, but it begs a very important question: If man is instinctively and basically good, then where did evil come from? Where do those thoughts come from when you’re angry? When we look at ourselves honestly, we see that evil is in us by nature and we like serving that nature. Jesus says in Matt. 15:19, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Have you ever gone down that road of thinking?
2. The moment of choice (vs 8)
Cain was in a moment where he was given every opportunity to make the right choice, to choose what was good and not evil. What Cain did next was what our legal system now calls pre-meditated murder. After stewing in his anger and hurt he asked his brother out for a walk and Able innocently agreed. While there Cain attacked and killed his brother. Murder was not an idea he would have heard about in the papers, it was not something that he had seen his parents do, it was not something that came from exterior influences. Anger turned to rage and death, the logical outcome of evil. Not only did he kill his brother, he wasn’t even a little remorseful about it. He did what he thought was best for him according to his own wisdom; he believed a lie.
Do you think that Cain’s choice was an evil one? Well not if you believe in evolution. If we have evolved from primordial goo then there is no good and evil, it’s survival of the fittest. We don’t see crocodiles feeling bad about killing something, it’s not good or bad to kill a little joey, it’s just instinct. We can accept that for animals, but it’s different with us because we have the knowledge of good and evil. When we find ourselves in a situation where we’ve been hurt or we see something we want, we have a moment where we either choose to believe that God is good and do what is right or believe the lie and follow our own thinking. I think history is proof enough of the disastrous consequences of following our own thinking. Prov. 16:25 says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” We all have the power to choose when the moment comes and God has given us His spirit (Gal. 5:16) “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.”