Leftovers, Again
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Leftovers, Again

Abel vs. Cain

The eternal struggle of Good versus Evil plays out every day in our lives

The same battle has been raging since the dawn of Man: Good versus Evil. For those who don’t know, the story of Cain and Abel from Genesis is both horrifying and illuminating. Abel, the Good brother, offers to God what God has commanded: Cain, the Evil brother, brings God what he wants-not Cain’s best. When God rejected Cain’s offering, Cain flew into a jealous rage and killed Abel: Evil slayed Good at the outset of Human history.

The Bible is full of stories of humanity: the first two-Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel-shed so much light on humanity, so much foreknowledge about how Humans will act that it is confounding these stories aren’t told more often. Knowing these stories is good, but understanding them is a precursor to understanding humanity, to helping each of us grasp the truth about the world we live in today.

Throughout history, Man has fought this battle: Good versus Evil. White Europeans came here by boatloads to escape Evil and pursue Good, only to allow Evil to dominate their own decisions upon arrival, treating Natives as inferior and stripping them of the land, their homes, and their way of life. Once established upon this continent, colonists found land that was hard to work, so once again they embraced Evil to kidnap Africans, ship them here in shackles, and force them into labor.

What happened to Good can be clearly seen through the lens of Abel versus Cain: while colonial settlers wished to serve God, those with power and authority stepped forward and took command, pushing aside the ideal of “Love your neighbor” for the promise of “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” After taking the homeland away from the Natives, White settlers were forced to ‘defend’ themselves: in reality, they were fighting to keep what they had stolen, “ill gotten booty” as it might be called. Community leaders would help the colonists ‘defend themselves’ against the savage Indians for a price: giving up the concept of growing a new land of Good, where each could worship God freely, disappeared as quickly as an Ice Cream cone on a hot summer day. While Good was still in their hearts, it would never be achieved in this new land: corruption — rooted in Evil — planted itself in the colonies, and the battle of Abel and Cain continued.

Rooted in the colonies, Evil grew: first, by stealing the land from the Natives; second, by stealing the labor from kidnapped slaves. The manifestation of Evil throughout the period of legal slavery in this land has no word other than Evil that can truly describe it. Cain became the slave master, beating the Good slave into submission. The hatred of the Evil master deepened with each generation, eventually bringing the entire nation into a dark, antagonistic war of brother versus brother. Abel wanted to free the slaves, claiming God’s Word proved that no man should own another man in bondage: Cain, however, made his own claim on the Word, using verses that clearly showed God had permitted men to own slaves. Albeit twisted — as Cain is wont to do — the words of the Evil slave master persisted until war was the only resolution left: a war, mind you, that was started by Evil.

Yes, the Southern plantation owners, with their slave masters, were Evil incarnate: the kidnapping of men is forbidden by God’s Word, and the inhumane treatment was further proof that Evil continued to rule. As Cain beat his brother Abel, so the slave master beat the slave without remorse or recognition of his Evil deed.

Abel, meanwhile, was fighting in the form of the Harriet Tubman’s of the world, putting her life on the line to bring about an end to Evil. Millions of Harriets fought in that great and terrible battle known as the Civil War, where Good prevailed over Evil — at least on the surface. Later efforts by the KKK and Jim Crow laws clearly provided evidence that Cain lives, and Evil continues to wage war on Good.

Through every social battle, Good versus Evil can be found at the heart of each fight. What people know to be right, to be just, they fight for: whether it be civil rights, equality, fair housing, or decent schools. These are values Good has shed blood for in battle after battle. From Selma to Charlottesville, Abel continues to fend off Cain’s blows even today.

When Joe Biden claimed he was fighting for “the soul of the nation,” he was putting on Abel, taking up the mantle of Good, calling out Evil, and declaring war on Cain.

The soul of this nation is all about which side each of us wants to fight on: do we believe everyone should be treated as God would treat us, with love for all; or do we believe some should be masters and others slaves, giving over our lives to those who stole and murdered their way to prosperity, and who promise to do the same to us.

Cain and Abel continue the fight today: Good is engaged in the hearts and souls of millions of Americans who still hope to build that land where freedom for all reigns, where love is the currency, where each decides its own future. This battle rages today, and Evil Incarnate — now posited in the human form of Donald Trump — raises his hand to strike down Abel with all his might.

The world will continue to fight this battle: until the end of times, Good will fight Evil, Cain will strike out at Abel. We must first decide with whom our heart lies, Good or Evil — God or Satan. From there, the battle must be waged each day with prayer, steadfastness, and good works, all the while knowing the battle has already been won.

In the end, God will win this war; Evil will be defeated, Cain will be cast into Hell. Man will continue to wage war against man; there is really no other outcome that we should expect. Whether we win this battle for the White House or not, Evil will fight on until it is finally vanquished by God alone. But fight on we will — we must — in an effort to offer our bodies as a willing sacrifice to God.

One concept appears in the Bible more than any other: “do not be afraid” offers us a message of hope from God that no matter how dark each day may seem, how hopeless each battle, or how large each enemy, God was, is, and always will be in charge.

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

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©Timothy J. Sabo

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