If Only He Had Confessed His Sin

Have you ever met someone who steadfastly refuses to confess? You can see a child doing something wrong. You call them over. “Did you do that?” you ask. “No,” they answer.

God saw Cain rise up and attack his brother. “Where is your brother?” God asks. “I don’t know,” Cain answered.

It was a lie. He knew it. God knew it. There is a moment in the encounter where a decision must be made. Did the thoughts go through his mind, “Should I confess to God that I did it and ask for forgiveness, or should I just maintain my innocence?”

It was not that Cain did not believe in God. Cain was talking with (not to) God. He had offered God a sacrifice. Cain knew God existed. That wasn’t the issue. Whether or not grain offerings were not as pleasing as animal offerings was not the issue.

The issue was Cain’s heart. God said to Cain, why are you so disappointed in my rejection of your offering? If you do well, will I not be pleased? Watch out, for sin is crouching by you. The  point is that Cain could not control his emotions. His jealousy turned to rage which turned to murder. When he still had an opportunity to confess, his heart would not let him do it.

That’s why Jesus was so concerned with the condition of our hearts. That’s why John (in 3:16) composed a word that said “faith toward” which is in the same meaning as trust. God wanted a trusting relationship with Adam and Eve. Didn’t happen. Then with Cain. Didn’t happen.

I started a notebook for capturing thoughts on confession when I heard Dallas Willard talk about how confession is so little used as a Spiritual Discipline these days. Then a small group I’m in decided to read all the old stories from Genesis. And there it was. One of the first stories recorded about the relationship of God and humans. And failure to confess is second after succumbing to temptation.

That made me sit in meditation this morning thinking about the things I should have been confessing. That is, bring out in the open between me and God and seeking forgiveness.


One Response to “If Only He Had Confessed His Sin”

  1. Stephen Walton Says:


    Should be Check February 24 for conversation with Dallas Willard.


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