Scripture Passage: Genesis 4:8-16
Observations from the Context:
We have seen before, the Lord’s warning to Cain to be on guard against his self-pity and anger. Cain, however, succumbed to temptation and drew his brother to the field where Cain slew him. When God confronts Cain about what happened, Cain mouths off. The Lord, has the witness of Abel’s innocent blood against Cain and, therefore, the Lord curses (punishes) Cain.
The Lord’s curse was twofold: Cain would no longer have the same bounty as a farmer and Cain would be fugitive and wander the rest of his days. We do not know what “mark” was on Cain. It was not black skin (as racists have attributed to this passage) which “marked” all of Cain’s descendants as lesser human beings. Such an interpretation is preposterous. Some interpret the passage as a literal mark that the Lord put on Cain. Others, say that the mark was not a physical mark but the pronouncement of the Lord’s curse on Cain that anyone who killed Cain would be avenged sevenfold. Whatever the mark, it was clearly a mark to protect Cain.
The last verse in our passage today aptly concludes that Cain went out from God’s presence to the land of Nod (which means wandering) in the East.
Throughout history, the righteous have suffered at the hands of the wicked. So suffered our Lord. The Lord sees every deed of the wicked and the Lord hears the cry of the poor, the oppressed, the innocent, the widow and the orphan. The Lord Almighty is their defender. We may not always understand the Lord’s patience and tarrying, but the Lord will rise up. While Cain was cursed, he had his physical life graciously preserved. How sad it is that we have no evidence of Cain’s repentance, but rather spending the rest of his life as a wander away from the presence of God.
Lord, like Cain, I have deliberately planned sin before. I have rebelled. O Lord, have I not also mouthed off to you when you confronted me with my sin? O forgive me! I am not worthy to even look up to you for I am a miserable sinner . . . But O Your grace! You extend Your hand to those who sorrow over their sin. You redeem those who repent. Lord, make me not a wander like Cain who lived the rest of his days wandering from you as a result of His sin. Restore to me the joy of my salvation, set me back on my feet and cause me to walk in the paths of righteousness. This I ask in the name of Jesus, amen.