"Why are you so angry?" the Lord asked him. "Why do you look so dejected" You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it." (Genesis 4:6-7, NLT)
This is what God said to Cain when Cain was upset that his offering was not accepted by God while the offering of his brother Abel was accpeted. We're not told exactly why Cain's offering was not acceptable, but here are a few things I learned from these two verses:
I can be accepted by God even if my initial action is unacceptable...if I respond the right way. In other words, even if I blow it, God allows me a second chance. I just have to respond the right way.
It is this responding the right way that is a problem for many people. They don't want to hear "your way is not the right way", and they are not willing to change and do things God's way. In our culture today, we would say, "Abel gave one offering and Cain gave another. Each gave what he felt he should give, therefore they are both equally acceptable offerings." For whatever reason, God said Cain's offering was not acceptable...and there was the rub. I am trying to make wiser decisions than Cain did. If God says my actions are unacceptable, but I can still be acceptable to Him if I respond correctly, I choose to repent and change my actions. The consequences of not responding this way are too great..."But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it."