November 04, 2009

What Lurks at the Door

Genesis 4:1-12

“Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you.”
Genesis 4:7


We double-lock doors to keep bad people out. We install peek-holes to decide whom to let in. Doors protect our lives against the harm that would enter. Outside of God’s presence all sorts of harm seek to enter our lives.

When Cain opened his heart to anger and killed his brother, he forever changed his life. That incident left an indelible imprint: brother-killer. He’d build a city, but never have a home. Life outside of the presence of God wasn’t really life—only a heartbreaking wandering farther and farther from home.

Opening the door to what lurks outside is bad enough; what enters to take residence is far worse. Sin loiters at the threshold. The most watchful of Adam’s descendants will have unguarded moments, and then pride, anger, greed, lust, sloth, gluttony, or envy will slither in and curl up inside, leading us to do terrible things. We are faulty doorkeepers; we tire easily of keeping watch.

Christ the faithful doorkeeper knows that. So he stands at the opening where sin lurks. Jesus watches over the door to his people’s hearts; he never sleeps. When sin knocks, or opportunities for greed or pride come our way, he helps us to recognize their odor and keep them out. We’ll be secure behind doors that the powers of hell cannot break down. That’s good news!

By the power of your Spirit, Lord, guard the door of our hearts to keep sin from entering in and trying to ruin our lives. In our faithful Savior’s name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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