"Of cats and crouching"

I'm fascinated when I watch my cats stalk a rodent in the field next to our home. Crouching noiselessly in the weeds, they show remarkable patience as they wait for an unsuspecting critter to stray just a bit too close.

In Genesis 4, sin is given a catlike characteristic. It crouches in wait and desires to have us.

Cain was angry with God, as well as his brother Abel. God had accepted Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's. God graciously gave Cain a second chance to bring the proper offering. He pleaded with him, "You will be accepted if you do what is right. But . . . watch out! Sin is crouching at the door" (v.7).

But Cain's anger soon mutated into hate, and he arrogantly refused to master his sin. Instead, he chose to yield to his hatred. Since he couldn't kill God, Cain killed his own brother (v.8).

Jesus warned us that the most horrible outward sins, like murder, start in the heart. "If you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment" (Matthew 5:22). And Peter said, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Often, we treat our sins like pets rather than killers. We convince ourselves that if they're hidden, or accepted by those around us, they're harmless. But sin crouches in the underbrush, waiting for the right moment to devour us.

Satan will pretend to love you so you'll feed and nurture your sins. Don't be fooled. "Stand firm against [the devil]," says Peter. "and be strong in your faith" (5:9).

Unlike the deceptive ways of the evil one, God's love and concern for you is always genuine. Help to fight the crouching one is only a prayer away. , Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey

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