#163 Raising Cain Part 2 (Or Raising Another Kind of Garden)May 16th, 2012 | By admin | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)
In meditating on the lessons from Cain and Abel, I was struck with the importance of the spirit of cooperation in our dealings with one another in contrast to the spirit of competition. Cooperative efforts are powerful to God’s glory. Cooperative efforts humble us to be part of a bigger giving than we could never give alone.
So let us seek to be a support and help to others in their giving, and let us be willing to receive their help and support.
And such efforts make us know that we are not alone in our giving.
Much love in Christ,
#163 Raising Cain Part 2 (Or Raising Another Kind of Garden)
Cain revealed a very destructive pattern he had developed. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to this question is obvious. The very fact that Abel was his brother should have been enough to define a role of connection and support between them. Cain was living a pattern of disconnect with those closest to him.
What the fruit of cooperation could have done for Cain
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” The word keeper is Strongs # 8104: to hedge about, , ie guard, protect, attend.
Instead of building a wall between them, Cain needed to build a hedge of support and protection, and he needed to be on the same side of the hedge as Abel. Competition builds a wall. Cooperation builds a hedge. Cooperation would have inspired Cain to admit what was lacking in his offering, and to learn from Abel’s offering to offer the first fruits. The spirit of cooperation would lead Cain to the humility to let his brother contribute one of the first fruits of his flock to him, so that he also could offer a sacrifice acceptable to God.
The cooperative effort that could have existed between Cain and Abel brings to mind the lesson of the drink offering. Paul stated that he was ready to be poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice of his brethren. Philippians 2:17 He was willing to contribute to and conform his giving to compliment the sacrifice of his brethren. There are two attitudes that we can take a lesson from here. One is the willingness to be poured out upon someone else’s sacrifice. The other is the willingness to be poured upon, the willingness to receive support, instruction, help and encouragement from others. Cain needed to have this attitude of heart, the willingness to receive.
Are we willing to be poured out to compliment someone else’s effort for God? Are we willing for God to direct the way we give? Are we willing to contribute without being noticed or acknowledged?
Are we willing to be poured upon? Do we seek the help we need? Do we allow others to contribute to our worship and gifts for God? Or are we on a self appointed solo mission?
Another fruit of cooperation: common ground
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:-19
One key to showing love to those who are ‘aliens’, those who appear to be different, is to create a common ground. God showed love to the Hebrews when they were foreigners in the land of Egypt and strangers to Him.
He delivered the Hebrews from Egypt. So they knew what is was like to need deliverance, and they knew what it was like to receive such a gift from God.
Both Cain and Abel experienced broken fellowship with God. They shared a common ground of the need to seek God and His ways. They both needed deliverance.
In making the connection of love between ourselves and others, it helps to realize that we are all from the same cloth of frayed humanity with similar needs and fears. We all need God’s grace and deliverance.
The fruit of cooperation redounds to the glory of God.