A Daily Genesis

Genesis 4:13-16

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:13 . . Cain said to the Lord: My punishment is too great to bear![/B]

His punishment was actually very lenient. In point of fact, it wasn't punishment at all, it was discipline. Had God actually punished Cain for killing his brother, he would have gone to the gallows. It's true that Cain would struggle to survive; but at least he was allowed to live. His kid brother was dead. How is that fair?

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] Let's say, just for the sake of amusement, that Abel was 30 years old when Cain killed him. Well; had Abel lived as long as his brother Seth-- 912 years --then theoretically Cain's malicious act deprived his kid brother of 882 years of life. How does a killer make up for that without forfeiting 882 years of their own life?

[B]Q:[/B] How did Cain get off with only a slap on the wrist? Why wasn't he executed for murder since God himself mandates capital punishment for murderers as per Gen 9:5-6, Ex 21:12-14, Lev 24:17, Lev 24:21, and Num 35:31-34? Does God practice a double standard?

[B]A:[/B] Murder is morally wrong, yes; and it is intrinsically a sin, yes; however; prior to the Flood, men were at liberty to go on safari and hunt each other like human wildlife because God had not yet enacted any laws granting humanity protected species status. Divinely ordained capital punishment was unheard of, and unthinkable, prior to the Flood because it is an axiom that Bible law isn't retroactive; viz: it can't be enforced until after it is enacted; which is precisely why God couldn't prosecute Cain for murder. (Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:14a . . Since You have banished me this day from the soil, and I must avoid Your presence and become a restless wanderer on earth[/B]

Who said he must avoid God's presence? Somebody can be a ceaseless wanderer without losing touch with God; I mean, after all[B]:[/B] He's everywhere at once. (Ps 139:7-12)

Alienation was Cain's decision, just as it was Judas' decision to break with Jesus. Both men could've turned it around if they wanted; but didn't. Cain walked out on God of his own volition. Now he would face life very insecure.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:14b . . anyone who meets me may kill me![/B]

I'm curious as to who Cain feared might slay him. The Adams family were the only people on earth at that time.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:15a . .The Lord said to him: I promise, if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken on him.[/B]

God didn't promise to be Cain's body guard; only to severely punish anyone who slew him. This event highlights one of the problems associated with domestic tranquility. Law works to protect you only when people obey it; so that fear of retribution becomes the only really practical deterrent.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:15b . . And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest anyone who met him should kill him.[/B]

The nature of Cain's mark is totally unknown. However, the "mark" wasn't so people would hoot at Cain wherever he went. It was a "No Hunting" sign so future generations of the Adams' family would know the real Cain from imposters who might be inclined to give themselves a sort of diplomatic immunity by impersonating Abel's brother.

God allows ignorance as an excuse; to a point. However, information creates responsibility. When a person knows an act is wrong, and goes ahead and does it anyway, they are in much deeper trouble than one who did not know that a particular act was wrong. No one had been forbidden to kill Abel, nor forbidden to kill any other man for that matter. But soon it would become widespread public knowledge that God strictly forbade killing Cain. Therefore, anyone who ignored God would pay dearly for knowingly, and willfully, ignoring His wishes; just as Adam died for tasting the forbidden fruit because the tasting was willful, and done in full understanding of both the ban and the consequence. (cf. Num 15:30-31, Matt 11:20-24, Luke 12:47-48, Heb 10:26-27)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:16a . . Cain left the presence of The Lord[/B]

Cain's departure from the presence of the Lord wasn't a forced eviction as had been the Adams' departure from the garden. And even though the Adams were driven from the garden, they weren't driven from God. The family kept that connection and brought up their boys to keep it too.

Cain's self-imposed exile has the aura of a dreadful finality. He renounced God, and his native religion, and was content to forego its privileges so that he might not be under its control. He forsook not only his kin but also their worship, and cast off all pretenses to the fear of God-- apparently putting out of his mind God's statement: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?"

Gen 4:16a is a terrible epitaph upon the tombstone of Cain's life, and you can almost feel the concussion of a dreadful thud as the mighty doors of perdition close solidly behind him; sealing his passage into permanent darkness.

Why didn't God plead with Cain to stay in touch? Well, that would be like throwing good money after bad. God had already tried at Gen 4:7; and like Einstein once remarked: Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing the same way over and over again and expecting a different result. Well; God's not insane; He knows when to say when. Sadly, there are people for whom it can be said: That was the last straw.

Of all the things that Cain had done up to this point, walking out on God was his worst mistake. Yes, he would have to scrounge for food; but that was just a bump in the road; not the end of the road. People need to think that over. No matter how harsh your circumstances are, and no matter what life has thrown in your face, loss of contact with your maker is much worse. It is wise to stay in touch with God even if your life is a train wreck and God seems oblivious to your circumstances.

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. He will not contend forever, or nurse His anger for all time . . As a father has compassion for his children, so The Lord has compassion for those who fear Him. For He knows how we are formed; He is mindful that we are dust." (Ps 103:8-14)

That Psalm's encouragement is restricted to "those who fear Him". The Cains of this world are of course eo ipso excluded.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 4:16b . . and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.[/B]

The Hebrew word for "Nod" is from [I]nowd [/I](node) and means: wandering, vagrancy or exile. Precisely how Nod got its name, or where it was located is unknown. The only other place in the entire Old Testament where nowd is found is at Ps 56:9.

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