Motives for Evil acts

In the wake of the most recent mass shooting that killed six people and injured 14 others, law enforcement officials search for motives as to why the suspect did what he did. This of course is their job to try to piece it all together in an effort to solve the crime.

Like all acts of evil which stem from a person or persons involved in the act, we need to go no further than the heart of man. I know that for most, they would find the true reason for this evil, one that they either didn’t want to believe in, or one that they didn’t understand, or want to understand. However, it’s truth never the less.

Motives for evil, in reality, can be easily understood if one wants to address the “heart of the matter”. Herein is the “root” of the problem.

Evil in humans has been around for a long time. Shortly after the fall of man when sin entered the world, the first fruit of sin that had to do with committing evil upon another person was the famous murder of Cain and Abel recorded in Genesis chapter four. After the Lord didn’t accept Cain’s offering, he (Cain) was “very angry”, and his face showed it (vs.5).

But before the “anger” came there was something else that had root in Cain’s heart. What was it? If we take a look at the story, it first starts out with the birth of Cain, the firstborn. Now the only way you or I are going to be able to relate to this is if we were the “firstborn” in our family, and if there where siblings that came after us. The problem that the firstborn quickly faces when the next brother or sister arrives is that of  “jealousy”. It happens to every firstborn to some extent. It is up to the parents to help and teach the child how to adapt, and not let the child foster jealousy that turns into anger, that could turn into an act of evil.

Now just to throw in some thoughts into the mix of this story of Cain and Abel, we see that the oldest was a tiller of the ground. This is hard physical work. Along comes the second child and he is a “keeper of sheep”. Can you imagine Cain sweating all day and looking occasionally over at Abel and seeing him sitting under a shade tree waiting for the sheep to finish grazing? That could have been one of the many situations that happened and developed more and more jealousy that rooted it’s self into Cain’s heart.

How about Cain’s offering from the fruit of the ground in which he gave to the Lord? His brother brought the “firstborn of his flock” which he attended. “And the Lord respected Abel’s offering, but did not respect Cain’s”.  “AND CAIN WAS VERY ANGRY” (vs.4-5)

Herein lies a “key” to understanding the motive of an evil act carried out upon a person or person’s. Anger in the heart leads to eventually acting out that anger in one form or another. It can be as little as “telling someone off”, or as big as “dicing a person into pieces with a knife”.

You can say that “anger” was the fruit of having had “jealousy” in his heart. Up to this point there was no evil act that had been carried out. It all was festering in the heart. And it’s the same with all acts of evil, they start in the heart. And many times “jealousy” can be a motive.

So before any act is carried out by Cain, God says, hey, cool your jets! “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”(vs.7). Basically, come on what’s the problem? Do well, don’t worry about, and you will be fine. I will accept you.

Now here is the deciding line, the consequence if you will. “And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door” And if that is not enough to scare you, then “it’s desire is for (toward) you,” Basically, it will “sift you as wheat” and “become your master”. It will be like the ring in the bulls nose, and it will grab the ring and take you wherever it pleases. It’s sin, and it will rule over you. That’s its nature. That’s what it does.

But God finishes off with saying, “but you should rule over it.” This is what you should do. Take charge, rule over it. Choose to do right!

Well, most know how the story ended up. He chose to let his heart of evil rule. His heart which had in it, “jealousy” and “anger”. Then it got to the point where it ruled him. The evil desire was “toward him”, and it grabbed the ring, and off they went and committed the act of murdering his brother Abel. (vs.8)

All acts of evil start in the heart. All motives start in the heart. The heart is the “core” of man. The center of man, if you will. This is why it is so needful that the heart continually be checked and inventory be taken. The only way we can be “renewed in heart” is by turning to the Lord Jesus Christ. And after receiving a “new heart” then the process of keeping it clean will be a daily, moment by moment process. Always checking to make sure there is nothing like, “bitterness”, “anger”, jealousy, “envy” etc. making its way into our hearts and trying to take up with staying there.

I will end with this: Sinners are those who practice sin on a regular basis.  We must be reminded that “Evil pursues sinners” (Prov.13:21) If I am practicing sin, I must be aware that “Evil” is at my doorstep, and it is running hard after me. It wants to manifest itself. It’s end result is that it may commit some evil act or acts.

Only by God’s grace are we able to turn from sin (repent).

Let us all be made aware!


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