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Epi-genetics...

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?.........” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.  ‎ Genesis 4: 3-8

 

In Jersey a year ago six people were killed by one man. But was it murder? Jersey’s Royal Court is hearing evidence about the state of mind of the man responsible.

 

Along those lines, are you worried about your genes? Have you passed on to your children bad genes? Are your children through you susceptible to certain illnesses?

 

And what genes are lurking within you which might affect your lifespan as well as your lifestyle?

 

Before reading the incident in bold above, remember that, as soon as Almighty God the Creator had completed his creation by making human beings, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

 

Are you able, with that in mind, to explain an obvious apparent inconsistency in the record so carefully maintained in the Jewish and Christian Bibles – in the book of Genesis? How can it be that “very good” Adam and Eve gave birth to a murderous son named Cain? How can “very good” Adam and “very good” Eve conceive and give birth to Cain?

 

Welcome to the relatively new science of epi-genetics. Epi- as a prefix means “above”. Wikipedia explains that epi-genetics “refers to functionally relevant modifications to the genome [that is, alterations which affect the function of the genome] that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence.

 

Wikipedia goes on to explain that “conclusive evidence supporting epi-genetics show that these mechanisms can enable the effects of parents' experiences to be passed down to subsequent generations. These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism; instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.”

 

Immediately before Cain was conceived Adam and Eve had been through awful trauma. Not only had they discovered evil and the need to cover themselves but also they had fallen out with each other, blamed each other, fallen out with God their Maker and been thrust out of their wonderful home and garden into a life of toil; and pain........

 

The words in bold above shown that Cain became “very angry”. In addition his “face fell” – he was emotionally challenged to such an extent that he “rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”

 

In fact, Cain wasn’t “very good”.

 

But that’s not the whole story. Epi-genetics can work both ways – for good and for ill.

 

Notice what the LORD said to Cain. “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?.........

 

On page 4 of the Bible these words give hope to us all. Many thousands of years after Cain, Jesus Christ (AD 0-33) brought into this world the actuality of forgiveness and cleansing from all guilt, from all our past, and from all the generational issues that have accumulated unbeknown to us. If you do well, will you not be accepted?

 
‘All the old primitive sins are not dead but are crouching in the dark corners of our modern hearts – still there, still as ghastly as ever.’ (Carl Gustav Jung, Psychologist, 1875-1961)
 
 ‘Jesus! The name that charms our fears, / that bids our sorrows cease; / ’tis music in the sinner’s ears, / ’tis life, and health, and peace.’ (Charles Wesley, preacher and hymn-writer, 1707-1788)
 
Richard Syvret

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