Like Cain, isn’t it better for us to deny the reality of our dysfunction instead of dealing with the truth of our broken homes?
Why Cain’s Lie Should Be Commended
“Truth sometimes is messy; it’s sometimes painful, shocking, and horrific.”
Traditionally, people have thought that Cain’s answer to God about Abel’s whereabouts in Genesis 4:9 was callous and dismissive. Do we really disagree with Cain’s response to God about his brother’s whereabouts? Honestly, isn’t it better to tell God that you don’t know where your brother is instead of saying that you just killed him? We can say facts matter, but don’t we all inwardly desire to hear something positive no matter what? People might call Cain’s statement callous, while others might call it tactful. Truth sometimes is messy; it’s sometimes painful, shocking, and horrific. People might call Cain’s statement dismissive, while others might view it as his effort to move on from dwelling on the ugly details of life. Cain’s answer to God turned his murder into something that sounded more positive, and shouldn’t that be commended instead of being condemned?
“Cain’s answer to God turned his murder into something that sounded more positive, and shouldn’t that be commended instead of being condemned?”
We now live in a post-truth world.
We now live in a post-truth world. Actually, the word, “post-truth” was named the word of the year in 2016 by Oxford Dictionaries. The new criterion on what is important for people to hear is not truth, but how do statements make people feel? According to Washington Post, “the dictionary defines ‘post-truth’ as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’” However, long before the term “post-truth” was coined, Cain embraced post-truth. Genesis 4:9. So yes, he didn’t state the facts correctly, but what mattered to him, and what matters to many today is not whether or not something is true, but how does it sound?What matters to many today is not whether or not something is true, but how does it sound? Click To Tweet
If we believe that everything has to sound good in life, Cain’s lie should be commended.
If Cain, Adam, and Eve were alive today and we asked Adam about how was Cain doing, would we really want to hear that he is a murderer, or would we want to hear some “alternative facts” about him? Would we want to hear from Cain, Adam, and Eve that they don’t know where Abel is, or would we rather hear that Cain killed his own brother? Is our criterion for what is right or wrong based on what sounds good, or is it based on truth–even if it’s painful? If we believe that everything has to sound good in life, Cain’s lie should be commended. However, as we take a more detailed look at Genesis 4:8-10, does a desire to hear positive stories alone bring us closer to God’s mind or Cain’s?Does a desire to hear positive stories alone bring us closer to God's mind or Cain's? Click To Tweet
“8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”
The Lord didn’t want to hear a positive story from Cain about his domestic violence.
The Lord didn’t want to hear a positive story from Cain about his domestic violence. God knows that life is not only positive, and He deals with truth. He didn’t let Cain’s dismissive comments skew His understanding of Cain’s murder. Because God isn’t a surface counselor, He deals with the good, bad, and ugly details of life in order to come to the right conclusion on a matter. If God only was interested in hearing positive stories alone, He wouldn’t have made the right judgment call on Cain.God deals with the good, bad, and ugly details of life. Click To Tweet
Who had the right way of addressing tragedy: Cain or God?
Notice that there is no record of Cain ever initiating conversation about his murder. Therefore, it appears that he leaves his murderous act in the past. It was God—not Cain—that brought up Cain’s past in order to save him.It was God—not Cain—that brought up Cain’s past in order to save him. Click To Tweet
God even wanted others to think about this tragedy that happened thousands of years ago so much from His perspective that He put this traumatic story in the Bible. Who had the right way of addressing that tragedy: Cain or God? If we believe that tragedy should be ignored, then we need to process tragedy the way Cain did. If we believe that tragedy shouldn’t be ignored, but rather it should be addressed through God’s perspective, then we need to process tragedy the way God does.
Truth-not lies-is what makes men free.
Cain was hateful. He sought to hide that fact by lying about it. “…Hatred is covered by deceit.” Proverbs 26:26. Holding onto a lie made God unable to change Cain’s ways, confirming in Cain his hateful, murderous characteristics. Satan, the father of lies, worked through Cain to utter the falsehood in Genesis 4:9 so that Cain could be kept in bondage to him. John 8:44; 1 John 3:12. Truth—not lies—is what makes men free. John 8:32. Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life”, and He deals with men on the basis of truth—no matter how painful that might be. John 14:6. Cain’s true freedom lied in acknowledging to God the truth that he was a murderer and in recognizing His need for redemption. Are we like Cain? Do we fail to see that holding onto lies leads to eternal ruin?Are we like Cain? Do we fail to see that holding onto lies leads to eternal ruin? Click To Tweet
Cain’s lie illustrates how the devil uses secrecy and lies to destroy homes today.
Cain’s lie illustrates how the devil uses secrecy and lies to destroy homes today. “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it…” Proverbs 26:26. It is dangerous for a family to hold onto lies because denial isn’t part of God’s healing process from sin.Denial isn’t part of God’s healing process from sin. Click To Tweet
In my book, “Except the Lord Build the House: Overcoming the Dysfunctional Mind” under the chapter “Why Violence is Often Carried Out in Secret”, I wrote, “…Cain was part of a class of people that ‘hideth hatred with lying lips…’ (Proverbs 10:18). He tried to use his speech to change even God’s perception of reality. [See Genesis 4:9]. If Cain could be so bold as to lie to God, who spoke to him directly and audibly about his hatred, how much more easily can people lie to God about cherishing sin today? This happens with husbands and wives concerning secrets and sin. A violent outburst occurs at home and abusers can speak in a way that tries to take the guilt off of them. They might deny that the event occurred, or they might cast blame on others or circumstances.Those who have been abused sometimes forget reality and believe lies. Click To Tweet
If they are unrepentant, they will speak in a way that enhances how they appear before others instead of expressing, both in words and actions, true humility of heart. Through the continual practice of sin, they can sincerely believe the words they speak because the Lord will eventually let them believe their own lies. (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Unfortunately, those who have been abused sometimes forget the reality and believe the lies of the remorseless abusers. And in many cases, abusers either strongly suggest or directly request that the abuse remain a secret between the victim and the abuser.”
We need God’s mind to have the right understanding of a matter.
In order to come to the right understanding of a matter, we have to know God, who is the Truth. John 14:6. The two foundational pillars of broken homes, secrecy and lies, must be destroyed in order for God to heal us from sin. If we adopt God’s mind, we cease from being caught up in the web of lies from the devil that are calculated to devalue and destroy mankind. “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:2.The two foundational pillars of broken homes are secrecy and lies. Click To Tweet
We begin to understand that the same God who was deeply disturbed about Abel’s untimely death by his own brother, is the same God who places infinite value on our lives today. And if we have grown up with a brother who is a murderer, we don’t have to make that story sound more positive as we relate our troubles to the Lord. He intimately understands our brokenness on a level that far exceeds any human wisdom.God intimately understands our brokenness on a level that far exceeds any human wisdom. Click To Tweet
We can be real with God.
Where is the redemption in Genesis 4:8-10? God doesn’t need or desire for us to try to hide our dysfunctional condition apart from Him because He deals with truth. “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.” Psalm 69:5.God is big enough to handle the truth about ourselves. Click To Tweet
The truth is that even if we are murderers, we can be real with God about our wretched condition, and He is willing and able to save us from all of our sins. Matthew 1:21; 1 John 1:7. Are we willing to be real with God? He is big enough to handle the truth about ourselves.
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