I spend most of my time at home, which is fine. I have a great view of our backyard where I watch birds and squirrels, and all manner of God’s creation. Still, for me, outside in wide open spaces is where I see God’s creation dance.
If we look back to the time of Adam, many believe they lived a nomadic life. A life outside, in God’s creation. An experience not unlike that of Adam’s descendants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
But, when we visit Adam, we also should visit Cain. You see, Adam’s son Cain was the first person to build a house or city. Why? Because of fear, and that fear birthed a need for self-sufficiency rather than trusting God. For Cain, he seems to only trust himself.
Genesis, Chapter Four
Genesis 4: (ESV)
8 …Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
13-17 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden…Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
[Cain’s Enoch not the Enoch that God took]
Keep in mind that Cain was the first murderer (v.8). Still, one of Cain’s biggest fears, when confronted by God was, “and from your face I shall be hidden.” (v14) So, even while Abel’s blood is crying out to God (v.10), Cain desired God and God’s heart of mercy is present in His judgment of Cain.
Out of God’s mercy and desire to remove Cain’s fear, God places a mark on Cain so everyone would understand that if you mess with Cain, then you were messing with God. (v15). We don’t know what the “mark” was, and it doesn’t matter.
Now, Cain wanders (i.e., Nod) towards the east (v.16). He finds a lovely place, he builds a family, and unlike all of his relatives, Cain builds a city (v.17). Why? God has given Cain a “mark” to protect him but he still doesn’t seem to trust God.
Seth Gets Cain’s Inheritance
It is worthwhile for us to know that all the chosen people by God are from the lineage of Seth. Seth was the son God gave Adam and Eve after the death of Able (v.25). All the great things God has done through humanity should have traced back to Cain, the first-born son of Adam and Eve, but because of Cain’s anger, he lost it all. Uncontrolled anger is a drug more damaging than any chemical we can abuse.
Perhaps, the next time you walk outside, you can take a moment to thank God for His marvelous creation. And, in your heart, determine not to put your trust in a house or a city and don’t allow your anger to cost you and your descendants everything God desires for you and them. In your heart live free, live unencumbered by this world, live joyfully; live a Christian sojourner’s life, and watch God’s creation dance.
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