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Why? (Genesis 4:1-7)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord is just as concerned with why a man does what he does as He is concerned with what the man does. Many times the best way to expose one’s motives involves asking and answering the simple question, “Why?” It was this question that the Lord asked to identify the motive of Cain’s anger (Genesis 4:6). The Lord used the same question to shed light on the motive for the disobedience of His people in 2 Chronicles 24:20. The Lord does not ask in order to gain an understanding for Himself. Rather, He asks man questions so that man might examine his own heart for the motives behind his actions. This same question will most likely resurface in some way at the judgment seat of Christ when men’s motives are most thoroughly examined.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God is aware of why we do what we do (1 Samuel 2:3b; Jeremiah 17:10). Compare what these people gave to the work of God: 1 Chronicles 29:17 and Acts 5:1-5; 7-9. Whose hearts were right and who wanted to impress others?
  • (For everyone): Take some time to look up the word why in the Bible. What verses stand out as ones where the Lord asked men why they did something?
  • The question why causes us to look inward. Why do you serve the Lord? Why do you live a holy life? Why do you do any particular act? If you are not living a holy life or serving the Lord, why not?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to show you why you do what you do.
  • Thank God for the opportunity to perfect your motives here.