Cain clung tightly to his right to be angry with his brother. Somewhere between his rejected sacrifice and the field he had justified his homicidal thoughts. His ways may have been right in his own eyes, but they weren’t in God’s, and he knew it. With murder written all over his face, God told him:
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7).
But lest we judge all our ways righteous by comparing ourselves to Cain, we need to remember these words from the Proverbs:
“Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2).
The same God who was weighing Cain’s heart 6000 years ago, is weighing yours and mine today.
The Christian is to learn to welcome such scrutiny and intervention; it is our safeguard. Maturity drives us to acknowledge our sins and to strive to avoid the traps of temptation. We listen to our words and ask if James is talking about us when he says: “The tongue boasts of great things”? (James 3:5). You would think that something that “sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell,” would drive us to our knees to beg, “Lord, weigh my heart.”
We praise God that His judgements about our thoughts and motives are exact. He weighs everything in an unerring balance—according to eternal truth!
4000 years after Abel’s death, God again weighed his heart in plain sight of all:
“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4).
With humble hearts we call upon God to weigh our hearts daily. So we can “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).