Dangers of Envy I - Wednesday 28 October, 2015
Memorise: A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. - Proverbs 14:30
Read: Genesis 4:3-8 (KJV)
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 8-9; Ephesians 3
From Proverbs 3:31-33 we understand that oppressors should not be envied, because there is a divine curse on their households. If you envy an unbeliever for any reason, you may be attracting the curse on such a fellow to yourself. Furthermore, Psalm 37:1-2 admonishes us to look beyond the material blessings of sinners, as they are heading for a tragic end. Besides not envying sinners, Galatians 5:26 makes it clear that it is equally wrong to envy one another. Envy is dangerous, because it can trigger a chain of negative events in the life of the envious. If there is envy in the heart of a person and it is not dealt with, it can lead to murder, as was the case with Cain. Cain and his younger brother, Abel, offered up sacrifices before God. While Abel's offering was accepted, Cain's offering was rejected. Instead of going back to God to find out what he did wrong, or going to his brother to find out what he did right, so that he could adjust and offer an acceptable sacrifice, he took the mean option of giving room to envy. He nursed envy in his heart until the day they had a quarrel over some other issue. On this day, he hit his brother so hard that he died. Envy leads to murder. If you are envious, a seed that can grow into murder is already in your heart.
Similarly, in Genesis 37, we see how Joseph's brothers were taken over by envy. They envied him because he was their father's favourite son. This they did instead of finding out what they could do to make them partake of their father's favour. When Joseph had a set of dreams revealing a great future ahead, they envied him the more. Envy made them forget that Joseph was their younger brother and of the same blood with them. Envy affected their reasoning to a point where they became very irrational. Come to think of it, if their younger brother's dreams of greatness were realised, would it not positively affect their position in several ways? This should have made them encourage him to fulfil his destiny, so that they could become co-beneficiaries. Instead of this, envy poisoned their hearts against their own blood and got them to take up the assignment of killing his dream. Are you envious of anyone? Are you out to kill other people's dreams because if realised, they could become greater than you? It is evil! Repent today!
Key Point: Envy distorts the rational thinking process of the envious and makes such a fellow more subjective than objective.
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