“But for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry,
and his face fell.”
Ever since the beginning of time man has sought to be accepted with God, not by bringing to Him the offering that He calls for, but by giving Him whatever we do or do not wish. The trouble for man is that he is insulted at God’s rebuke. Why? Because he hates being told to turn from evil? Yes, but more than this, it is because he hates being told that the “good” he imagines he is doing is actually evil.
The danger here for us is that we can substitute true morality for a false one. Forsaking what is actually good in the name of making our own version of it. But this is not simply a different path that leads to the same place, this is actually central to the evil that is within man. This is a “morality” that puts self at the center, where we define all the rules ourselves, and yet we then expect God to accept our morality as if it was the real thing.
We seek to do what we want morally and yet be seen as good. We are hurt and offended at being told that we are not doing good and we say, “It was my intention to do good.” No it was not, it was your intention to do whatever version of “good” you preferred, and now you are rebuked for it. Shown that your good is not actually good. That is what you are actually hurt about. You are not hurt because you actually were intent upon good, you are hurt because you were intent upon your sin and rebuked for it.
How wrong that we sit around expecting God and man to accept our artificial versions of morality, and when they buck at them because they are lifeless, self-centered, and even cruel, WE are the ones who are then hurt and offended!
What we must understand is at the center of this attitude is not “good intentions” it is the self. We are still living by what we want. We are deciding what is moral, not God, and we are also expecting to be seen as good! How evil that we first forsake what is actually good in the name of making our own “morality”, but then our pride also wants to be seen as good! You who forsake goodness for what is false also want the prophets reward as if you actually did good! (Matt 10:41) We believe that we welcome righteousness when in reality we refuse it in the name of our own will.
The danger for man is not only that he will try to make his own god, but he will also try to make his own commandments from God. This is still entirely from the evil self that must be destroyed. We must be careful to not pay too much pity to this self, but rather, rebuke it. “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God.” (Deut 4:2)
August 31, 2020