Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Cain's Battle With the Borg

Suggested Reading: Genesis 4:1-16

There is a pivotal scene in Star Trek: First Contact where Captain Picard has issued orders for the crew to stand their ground and fight a hopeless battle against the Borg, a group of cybernetically enhanced aliens who are over-running his ship. At the time his judgment seems to be clouded by his own experience with the Borg, an experience in which he himself had been kidnapped, his body implanted with Borg devices, and his mind controlled as he was forced to kill and destroy people for whom he cared. Though he had buried his anger and desire for revenge, when the Borg attacked his ship once again he allowed those feelings to take over. Only when a stranger quoted Moby Dick to him, comparing him to Captain Ahab who allowed his thirst for revenge to destroy him, did Captain Picard realize what he was doing and decide to let go of his anger in order to save his crew.

Unfortunately for Cain in Genesis 4, Moby Dick hadn't been written yet, but Cain did have someone point out the danger of holding onto his anger. After his offering had been rejected, Cain was visited by God himself who warned him, "Why are you so angry? Why is your face so downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it" (Genesis 4:6-7, NIV). God himself warned Cain about his anger, and told him that he had a choice to make: deal with his anger and do what was right by mastering his sin, or allow his anger to continue unchecked and allow sin to master him instead.

Another path along the road to committing horrible deeds we never could have imagined is the choice to stay angry. God warned Cain that he had a choice to make, but Cain chose to stay angry. Cain chose to ignore the warning that God himself had issued about the dangers of allowing anger to rule him and he ended up murdering his brother. Even when we are truly injured and wronged, we have a choice to make about the role anger will play in our decisions. We can continue to be angry, justified or not, or we can choose to forgive so that we don't give sin a chance to master us. At times, it simply feels good to be angry. It feels good to be consumed with something that energizes and motivates us. But we cannot allow anger to be our driving force. 

Paul said in Ephesians 4:26-27, "'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold" (NIV). Allowing anger to motivate us and dictate our actions is a very dangerous game, one that offers Satan a foothold in our lives. Cain didn't pay attention to the warning he received. Will we?

Only Casting Out the Annoying Demons

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