When I started writing devotionals again, I had no idea what I was going to write about each day. I still don't know exactly what I will write about tomorrow. One thing I have learned, though, is that God does not leave us without instructions. I guess I already knew this, but it became even more clear to me as I read through the chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Genesis today. In these three chapters of the Bible, God gave instructions to Noah, and He gave instructions to Cain. One was obedient. The other was not.
Let's start with Cain. Remember how Cain offered God some of the produce as an offering to God, but Abel, his brother, offered the firstborn of his flocks? God regarded Abel's offering, presumably since Abel was offering the firstborn of his flocks. God did not regard Cain's offering in the same way because, it appears from the text, Cain did not offer the first part of his produce. God regarded Abel's offering more because, in a sense, Abel made more of a sacrifice in his offering to God than did Cain.
When Cain became upset at this, God gave him some instruction and informed him that, "If you do what is right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (Gen. 4:7). Cain rejected God's instruction and, instead, killed his brother, creating a disaster for himself and his family.
Now let's look at Noah. Noah was a righteous man who walked with God. Even as the rest of the world became corrupt, Noah did not. When God came to Noah and told him to build an ark, Noah did as he was told. And God gave Noah some really specific instructions. Noah did not determine the dimensions of the ark. God did this for him. God's specifications were not too much for Noah, but they were specific.
We all know how each story ends. Cain is cursed and became a wanderer. Noah and his family were spared. In both cases, God gave instructions. Only one of the two obeyed the instructions he was given.
Now back to my main point. God does not leave us without instructions, but He loves us enough to give us the free will to decide whether or not we will obey these instructions. There is only one way obedience can end. There is also only one way that disobedience can end. God has given us instructions in many ways: the life and teaching of Jesus, the Bible, the still, small voice that He speaks in, etc. When God gives us instructions, we choose whether or not to obey them. I pray that all of us choose to obey Him.