8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
I see two distinct results from Cain’s sin. His identity is forever affected, and his access to the presence of God rescinded. He is forever now a “restless wanderer” and he is “hidden” from the presence of God. His fate is hard to bear for him. Sins sentence upon Cain’s life is terrible. I wonder how much of this can be in principle applied to the effect of sin upon us all?
I am given fresh awareness that sin affects my identity, and in a very harsh and destructive way. Sin makes restless wanderer’s of us all. Sin also affects my intimacy with God – sin affects my sense of His presence. It’s so true of my experience that when I know the path of sin has been my path of choice, immediate feelings of separation from the Almighty descend upon me. And finally, I am made aware that sins sentence is terribly harsh. Given the deceitfulness of sin, it is helpful to have such stark passages as this one to remind me that in no way is sin my friend. Sin is a harsh and destructive foe. I must set myself up against my sin tendencies, and protect myself against my sin temptations. I do not want to entertain, nor invite into my life, that which makes me a restless, Godless, and overwhelmed lonely soul.
Lord, I thank you that such stories as Cain’s here are given to us as warning to us. I am warned to keep vigilant regarding temptation and sin-weakness in my life. Sin is a vile master, and a foe. Lord, grant me Your never failing grace for the fight. I thank you that in Jesus I am no longer under sins tyranny, but Graces regal rule. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh