Adam and Eve were created without sin. The only counsel they needed from God was regarding obedience to God’s righteous commands (what work to do, what to eat and not eat, and marriage). Because they were created without sin, God didn’t need to counsel them on how to deal with sin, for if they had obeyed the simple commandments given, they would never have sinned. When tempted to sin, Adam and Eve had to make an intentional active decision against the norm. Therefore, when they chose to sin, God judged them.
But with the next generation of mankind, things were different. Cain and all who were to come, were born in sin. Sin didn’t require the intentional active choice from them as it did from Adam and Eve. When tempted to sin, mankind now had a natural bend toward it, and sped down the road of temptation and sin without even a second thought. God, in His great goodness, therefore intervened. With Adam and Eve, God gave the commandments, accepted the worship of the faithful, and judged the disobedient. But with Cain and Abel, and all since then, God not only gave the commandments, accepted the worship of the faithful, and judged the disobedient, but God also counselled. Before the disobedience, God intervened with what we call today, Biblical Counselling.
Genesis chapter 4 is the first Biblical Counselling session bringing God’s word to rescue a sinner in the moment of temptation, just prior to the potential sinful act. The principles in Genesis 4 are still the same for each of us.
- God is fully aware of the temptations we face. God knows the state of our worship, and our attitudes and feelings. (Genesis 4:3-6 also Hebrews 4:15)
- God prompts us to examine our behaviour and attitudes and identify the heart motive for it all. (Genesis 4:6 also James 4:1)
- God reminds us of the rather obvious righteousness choice in every temptation. (Genesis 4:7a also Psalm 23:3)
- God warns us of the destructive consequences of sin. (Genesis 4:7b also Psalm 19:11a)
- God exhorts us to overcome. (Genesis 4:7c also Romans 12:21)
Ever since the Fall of Genesis chapter 3, God no longer only gives commandments and punishes disobedience, but God adds the counselling stage so that we can turn from evil and be accepted. But, if we, like Cain, continue unaffected by the Word of God, then judgement will be as decisive and swift as it was with Adam and Eve.
Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.