"Thou shalt rule over him"

In Genesis (4:3—8) we read that Cain and Abel brought their offerings to God. Cain bringing of the "fruit of the ground." and Abel of the "firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." Cain, the record continues, was angry because his offering was not found acceptable, and the Lord said to him: "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 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."

These last words, "sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." stood out to the writer and took on new meaning as she was studying this account, which appeared in the Lesson-Sermon entitled "Ancient and Modern Necromancy. alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced." in the Christian Science Quarterly. She saw that God. Truth, was uncovering the error in Cain's thinking, showing it to be an erroneous suggestion of selfishness, resentment towards God and jealousy of Abel, his brother, all because of a misunderstanding of the true nature and spiritual value of offering. Although these sinful thoughts and suggestions presented themselves at the door of Cain's thinking, yet he had the power to deny them and refuse them entrance.

Explaining why Cain's offering was not pleasing to God and Abel's offering was found acceptable, Mary Baker Eddy writes (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 541):"Had God more respect for the homage bestowed through a gentle animal than for the worship expressed by Cain's fruit? No: but the lamb was a more spiritual type of even the human concept of Love than the herbs of the ground could be." In studying this explanation, together with the definition of "Lamb of God" in the Glossary of Science and Health, the writer recognized that true offering is love, purity, innocence, and unselfishness. She saw also that Cain, not perceiving the true concept of offering, had allowed himself to be governed by evil thoughts of resentment, jealousy, and selfishness.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Let This Be Mine
January 18, 1947

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.