Summary: If you are recipient of God’s favor, you could further expect at least two things. What are those?
“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The LORD said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth’” (Genesis 4:8-12, NIV).
We know that Covid 19 caused the death even of good people.
Did you know someone who suffered trouble, pain, difficulties, or whatever affliction that was not the cause of their own wrong doing?
Have you experienced something bad you felt you didn’t deserve?
This time, we see in our text that though a man did the right thing, yet he suffered evil. In fact, that could also happen to us, even though we are… RECIPIENT OF GOD’S FAVOR… as portrayed in Genesis 4:8-12.
So, if you are recipient of God’s favor, what else could you expect?
In verses 1-7, we found out that at least two things happened when God looked with favor on you. First, you would be able to do what is right. Or, your action or in the case of Abel, his offering, was acceptable to God. For not every work or accomplishment, though it is praised by men, is acceptable to God.
Second, when God looked with favor on you, you would be able to rule over sin, or you would be able to overcome sin. Because God did not look with favor on Cain, he was not able to rule over the temptation and committed sin. He succumbed to it by killing his own brother Abel.
Now, in our text, if you are recipient of God’s favor, you could further expect at least two things. What are those?
I – YOU COULD SUFFER EVIL (verse 8).
Verse 8 states, “Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”
Though Abel was recipient before of God’s favor, God allowed an evil thing to happen in his life. His own brother killed him.
In previous verses, we learned that Abel enjoyed favor from God. As he received faith, he was able to offer a better and acceptable sacrifice to God. The text did not show that there was a need for Abel to be disciplined, yet God allowed his own brother not just to hurt him, but to end his life.
In the Bible, we read instances that men of God suffered harm, though they did nothing wrong. Think of Job, Joseph, John the Baptist, Stephen (Acts 6-7). And we should not forget the truly blameless Man, who suffered the greatest pain and horrible death from wicked men – Jesus Christ.
God did not promise the believers a comfortable, convenient life -- free from suffering in this world.
God’s Word tells us that those whom He looked with favor, whom He granted faith or belief, He also allowed them to suffer. We read in Philippians 1:29, “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him…”
Paul told the Christians in Philippi, who faced persecutions, they were given the gift of faith – granted the privilege to believe in Christ, but they were also granted the pain of suffering.
So, believers or lovers of Jesus – is there any one of us in pain right now – emotional, physical or whatever? Do not entertain the idea that God withholds His favor on you. His promised to His people: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them…” (Jer. 32:40A.)
If you have genuine faith in Christ, you are not exempted even to suffer evil. Do not forget, however, that no matter how painful you suffer, it is not because God is no longer pleased with you and He is punishing you. Actually, He is pleased with you, treating you as His child, giving you discipline or transforming you to be conformed to the image of Christ.
We can just pray to our Heavenly Father, “deliver us from evil.” And if in His wisdom, He allowed us to remain in pain, remember the words of Paul, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).
According to Paul, whatever suffering we are going through, it’s just light and momentary compared to the “eternal glory” that will be revealed to us.