Not my will, but yours

Not my will, but yours

Not my will, but yours – Luke 22:42

Genesis 4:7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the superpowers of that time, England, France, and Spain, were engaged in a struggle for control for the New World. Each nation had its own priorities: colonization, land, riches, freedom to practice religious faith and evangelization, and a general desire to take advantage of the abundance that the Americas offered.

In the 1740’s, Great Britain and France were continually brushing up against each other in their efforts for expansion. Both powers recognized that war was inevitable in the struggle for control of North America. Both sought more land. England focused on cash crops such as tobacco. France was heavily involved in the fur trade. In the late 1750’s and early 1760’s armed clashes raged between the two empires in North America.

England became the dominant force in North America in 1763 defeating France and Spain in the French and Indian War.

The struggle for control is nothing new. It actually began in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.

The Hebrew word translated desire, desire to control, contrary to you is teshuqah. Teshuqah has a primary sense of desire or longing. It can have either a positive or negative connotation. It is used only three times in the Old Testament. In the Song of Solomon, it is used for the loving, longing, desire of the husband for his wife. He craves to be with her.

Song 7:10 – The woman says of her beloved: “I am my beloved’s and his ‘desire’ is for me.”

But in Genesis 4:7 it has an entirely negative connotation. Here the Father is speaking to Cain and says to him that sin is like a crouching beast “hungering, intent upon” Cain (TWOT).

Genesis 4:7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Sin is personified. It is like a ferocious, hungry beast crouching, desirous and eager to control and dominate. It is lying in wait at the door of Cain’s life, seeking to take control. If sin successfully pounces, and gets its way, the consequences for Cain are ominous.

There is an interplay between sin and Cain’s motivations and actions. Cain is filled jealous rage. Cain is actively plotting the murder of his brother. Sin is encouraging Cain to act out his hateful emotions. Sin is trying to dominate and take over. The Father warns Cain not to let this happen. The Father is admonishing him to be strong and resist. The Father encourages Cain is take control of his emotions and not let sin have its way.

Cain is to “rule over it.” Cain fails to take the Lord’s advice; sin gains the upper hand and Abel his brother is murdered.

REFLECT & PRAY

The original DNA of the human species apparently underwent severe mutation because of the Fall. Harmony and mutuality, love and respect were lost. Trying to retrieve them is difficult, frequently overwhelming, and seemingly impossible.

Father thank You that You have overcome the curse of the Fall. Encourage each of Your children to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender control back to You, the Lord God omnipotent.

INSIGHT

In Genesis 4:7, understanding that the term “desire” indicates the desire to control helps us to better understand the Father’s words to Eve.

Genesis 3:16 Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.

The complementary relationship and balance between husband and wife that were ordained by the Father before the Fall, has been profoundly fractured. Instead of harmony and unity, there will now be an ongoing struggle between the woman and the man for leadership in the marriage relationship.

Eve was previously the perfect complement for Adam. But that was lost in the Fall. She has been sullied. She now has an inordinate desire to control. She wants her own way. She is now in opposition to Adam. Instead of delightful cooperation and teamwork, there is conflict. Adam on the other hand, instead of being a servant leader and gently encouraging his wife, caring for, and protecting her, he now has a propensity to dominate and bully her.

It is, “Me Tarzan, you Jane,” and its worst.

The Father’s ideal design for harmonious marriage was ravaged by sin. There are now two opponents vying to get their own way.

Adam and Eve’s rebellion against the Father has resulted in ongoing warfare for married couples ever since. The Father’s intended roles and responsibilities are severely damaged. How tragic!

But the Father has an answer for His wayward children. When they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are endowed with supernatural power to live out their original respective roles and responsibilities in marriage.

Ephesians 5:21-32 spells out a way to achieve the original design that the Father desired.

The husband is to love his wife and put her first. He is to be willingly self-sacrificial. He is to be willing to lay down his life for her. He is to be her servant leader. In the same way that the Lord Jesus Christ is Adam’s servant leader. The Father has provided the ultimate role model for the husband regarding his attitudes and actions towards his wife. The Lord Jesus Christ “gave Himself up for” the church in loving self-sacrifice. The husband bears extremely serious and formidable obligations before the Father. Bullying, domination, or oppression are nowhere to be seen.

The husband is bound by love to ensure that his wife finds their marriage a source of rich fulfillment and joyful service to the Lord. The husband is to do all in his power to promote the holiness, righteousness, goodness, and fidelity of his wife. Paul devotes three times more space to the husband’s duty (nine verses) than to the wife’s (three verses). (ESV notes).

The wife is to respect her husband and honor him, and recognize his God-ordained role as a leader. Her willing submission is in deference to the ultimate leadership of the husband for the health and harmonious working of the marriage relationship (ESV notes). Submission by a woman is never to be driven by a biblical “sledgehammer.” She too has an example to follow, but regrettably a poor one at best. The church is pictured as the bride of Christ. The church is to be in submission to the Lordship of Christ and willingly seek to fulfill His desires and dreams for it.

Framing it in other terms. In the words of Harry Truman, “the buck stops here.” Whoever carries the responsibility for the buck, carries the dreadful weight of ultimate responsibility, and the daunting prospect of accountability before the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father. No husband would ever want to face the disapproval of his actions and attitudes in marriage by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

High standards are set for both the husband and the wife in marriage. From the beginning of creation, marriage was intended to be a reflection of and patterned after the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ to the church. Paul’s commands regarding the roles of husbands and wives are the Father’s ideal for all marriages at all times, as exemplified by the relationship between the bride of Christ (the church) and Christ Himself, the Son of God (ESV notes).

Each of us is a work in progress, striving for the high standard to which we have been called. The Lord Jesus Christ showed us the way, “Not my will, but yours.” – Luke 22:42

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