The Despicable Three - Just A Minute #152

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the Lord. . . . was very wroth, and his countenance fell. . . . And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? (Genesis 4:3, 5, 9)

It did not take generations for Adam and his wife to reap a full harvest from their rebellion. Cain, the firstborn of the human race, gave us a full presentation of what sin does.

He was Baby Boy Number One. How can we even begin to measure the awe and wonder of that birthday?!

And yet, the seed of the couples’ iniquity was firmly planted in the child's soul and would soon blossom into a monstrous thing of pain and horror.

If we look closely at this first family's disaster, three aspects of Cain's behavior will show up in bold, black letters. They form an ugly trio, and having made their first appearance outside Eden long ago, they still try to poison every home on earth. Though they can function independently, the three seem to prefer doing their nasty business together. Each one is a lethal enemy of the family and should never be tolerated. As soon as they reveal themselves in the attitudes and actions of our children, we should immediately take steps to eliminate them.

If we don't, disaster is inevitable.

In the first place there was disobedience. According to 1 John 3:12, Cain openly and deliberately followed the impulse of the Evil One. Our little "angels" should learn right away that to disobey means punishment. Like Jehovah, Daddy and Mommy should ask questions to make sure the rules were understood, and then apply the proper measures.

Next there was the lie. Cain lied, and instantly added one more link between his character and that of the devil, the father of lies. Few things will do more damage to our families than parents overlooking or making fun of children when they lie. It is our sacred responsibility to make sure our children always remember their first lie as being their last.

And finally comes Cain's infamous question, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

My goodness, have you ever stopped to think through that phrase? If so, you are shuddering with me even as you process the scene. The flippancy, the smirky smile, the mocking voice . . . how could this privileged young man speak to the Lord this way?

And so, a lack of respect completes the despicable threesome that robs our homes of God's blessing.

I can still recall a time, about forty years ago, when I said the wrong thing.

I can't remember what the circumstances were, nor where I was. But deeply engraved in the hard drive of my brain is the warning I received from my dad when I addressed my mother in a disrespectful way.

It was a line I never crossed again.

The fourth chapter of Genesis is surprising, sobering . . . shocking. It is a huge and unmistakably clear message to parents and children, of that which should never, ever be allowed to reside in our homes: Disobedience, lying, and disrespect.

Dear Father, You knew all about the pain and anguish that would come to us through sin. You knew we would fail over and over again, and fill the earth with shame. But You were faithful to teach and patiently provide the instruction and faith to do things right. Help us Lord, to honor You with our families. Amen.