STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 2: The Sin Also Known As
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7
Sin is crouching at the door. This is a disturbing portrait of sin. First, consider the posture it is given, namely that it is crouching. Immediately this conjures up visions of a lion, or a tiger, or a
leopard crouching in the grass to avoid being seen by the prey it intends to pounce on. The prey is somewhere yonder in a state of relaxation, nourishment, enjoyment, fellowship, and calm, oblivious to the fact that a mortal enemy lurks in the bushes. God says this is how sin is, subtle and perched under the surface out of sight of its next victim. The deadliest sin is the one you feel immune to and the one you feel safe from. Whether you feel safe from it because you have never committed it before, or because you can’t imagine how anyone could do such a thing, or because you delude yourself with false notions of how noble and righteous you are, your false sense of safety from sin does not come from the fact that the sin is absent or safe, but from the fact that it is hidden, or more accurately, crouching, since a thing hides to protect itself but crouches to attack another. Attack is the only language sin speaks and the only agenda for which it exists. Sin is an attack on God’s character and an invader against all that God considers good in our lives. There can be no coalition, no alliance, and no partnership with sin, because it is always a thing against God and against us. Its posture is one of an enemy combatant waiting in the bushes to sabotage us, and so we are either at war against sin or being ambushed by it. Self-confidence is a losing strategy, for what we need is faith.
Now consider the position sin is given, namely that it is stationed “at the door”. What an indicting portrayal. We are immediately disabused of any illusions that sin is far away, over there beyond our
house or street or neighborhood or country. Lust is not waiting to attack us when we see or embrace a sexually attractive person; Greed is not waiting to attack us when we become rich or start a career in politics; Fear is not waiting to attack us when we are held at gun point; Falsehood is not waiting to attack us when we become heretics; Envy is not waiting to attack us when we lose our valuables. Sin is not somewhere out there in the world or in the future. It is present with us right here at our own doorstep. “Its desire is for you”. You are the target of its arrows and the prey in its sights. There is no victory over sin for anybody who continues to believe that the sin they are vulnerable to is something someone else “makes” them do. No one kicks the door down to let sin into your life, your relationships, your thoughts, your plans, your aspirations, your deeds, and your desires. Sin is already at the door, and since the door is yours, you alone can open it or keep it closed. Self-righteousness is a losing strategy, for what we need is repentance.