Personification. Any guesses what that words means? Hmmm……ok, times up! Personification is a word that means to ascribe human traits to an inanimate object. An example this would be the sentence, “The flowers danced in the gentle breeze.” Obviously we understand that flowers don’t dance but in the proper context we understand what that means.
In our reading today we come across an interesting personification. In Genisis 4:7 we pick up a conversation between Cain and God after Cain is confronted about not providing the proper offering. God then says “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.” Did you catch the personification in that verse regarding sin?
First sin is described as “lieth at the door.” How true is that? No matter where we go, who we are with or what we are doing, the opportunity to sin is never far away. In fact, as long as we are in this fallen human body, the ability and desire to sin lives right within us. Our fleshly nature loves to lie, hate, lust, covet and any number of other sins. Truly sin is lying at the door just waiting to barge right in.
Secondly, we see the phrase, “and unto thee shall be his desire.” The wording might be a bit difficult to grasp but looking at the next phrase I believe explains it’s meaning, “and thou shalt rule over it.” Sin’s desire is to rule over us. It desires to be our master and lead and control us. Like the old gospel song says, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go. Slowly but surely, taking control.” Sin isn’t content with the occasional stumble, it desires to control us.
But what is the Lord’s desire? As the end of the verse says, He desires for us to control it. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do just that. Maybe as we start 2020 we can think of sins that often have control over us. Maybe as we start this year some of us need to dedicate ourselves, imploring the Lord’s help, that this might be the year when besetting sins lose their control in our lives!