In this particular passage anger, bitterness, wrath and jealousy are all present in Cain’s heart. These are all sinful actions. They are what lurk in the evil heart. Cain is angry with God, he is jealous of his brother and he becomes embittered with both of them. Why?Because God looked favorably on Abel’s offering. Cain could have been thinking that God liked Abel better and this made him jealous. Maybe even Cain thought God was rejecting him but we see God was not rejecting him he was actually correcting him in love because of the evil in his heart. God is telling Cain to step back and take control of the sin in his heart. God gives him the opportunity to do what is right and He ultimately says you can be right with me if you do what is right… however if you choose to stay angry, bitter and jealous then it is going to overtake you and it will eat you alive and eventually you will do something that you will regret.
How true this is for all of us today. Anger, bitterness and jealousy are very contagious sins and they can leave a trail of destruction. Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” When these sins take root in our hearts they defile us. Think of anger and bitterness as a growing cancer that takes root in the heart of each of us and slowly over time consumes, controls and eventually kills you. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” The Apostle Paul tells us to put away bitterness. Don’t let it be present in your lives. How does that happen? I believe God says to us, like he said to Cain, that he has given to us the resources (the Holy Spirit) to have control over our sins so they don’t consume us. I Corinthians 6:5 – 10 tells us that we used to be controlled by sin but now we are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus Christ and BY the SPIRIT.
Anger, bitterness, rage etc are all powerful and dangerous emotions which can negatively affect our relationship with God and with loved ones but they can be controlled. In Christ all of these sinful actions do not control us. God in his loving mercy has given us the Holy Spirit to abide in us and cause us to live lives of holiness. Our sins no longer control us but we now have control over them through the Spirit of God.