40 Days To Lasting Change By Kyle Idleman

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading


“Right Word at the Right Time”

What do you do when your child is in danger? You warn him! That’s what a loving father does.

One of the ways God warns us is to send us His Word at just the right time. That’s what He did for Cain, Adam and Eve’s son.

Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer. Abel was obedient to God’s command and brought his first fruits. He brought a portion of the best of his flocks as an offering to God. But Cain gave God the leftovers from his fields.

When God saw this, He accepted Abel’s offering and blessed him, but He rejected Cain’s offering. Cain got angry and jealous of his brother. He was upset. Cain, the world’s first son, was on the prodigal path to the Distant Country. God saw what was happening and sounded the alarm.

Genesis 4:6-7 says, “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?’”

God as the Father, said, “Listen close. It’s not too late. I know right now you’re feeling discouraged. I know things haven’t turned out like you wanted, but it’s not too late. You still have an opportunity here to do the right thing. If you’ll just do the right thing, even though you don’t feel like it, everything will be okay.”

Then God issued a second alarm: “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

The alarm sounded as God stepped back and let Cain choose for himself. Just like the father in Luke 15, God was not going to force His child to make the right decision.

Cain ignored the alarms and opened the door. He invited his brother out to the field and killed him. Cain ignored the alarm and everything came crashing down around him.

In the same way, as we seek and study the Bible, we give the Holy Spirit opportunity to shape our thinking, guide us, and sound alarms when necessary. Digging into Scripture is our way of listening and tuning our ears to our Father’s voice.

*Looking back, can you see how God tried to get your attention even though you didn’t realize it?