Marked by God or Bearing God’s mark

When Cain was cursed for his willful disobedience, Cain complained to God that his punishment was greater than what he could bear and worried that anyone who saw him would slay him (Genesis 4:15-16). First it in interesting to recognize that at this point in time, other than his parents, there is no mention of any other human beings alive, in the Bible, and so one cannot be sure as to whom Cain is afraid of. Second it is interesting to note that Cain is worried about the same sin that he willfully committed against his brother. A murderer is now worried about being murdered. He was worried about reaping what he had sown. So the Lord said to Cain, that whoever slays Cain, on him would vengeance be taken sevenfold times. And God set a mark upon Cain so that any one who found Cain would not kill him. It is futile to speculate as to what this mark is, as it is not explicitly stated in the Bible, and in fact the identity of the mark is inconsequential. However, what is of utmost importance is that despite Cain’s sin, God in his mercy, sets his divine protection over Cain, so that Cain, who was spiritually dead (for he went out from the presence of the Lord – Genesis 4:16) would not also die physically, before his appointed time.

Points to ponder:
Cain was a marked man – a man who was divinely protected so he would not die physically in the hands of man. A time will come, when all who swear allegiance to the the antichrist (the beast) would be marked as well, but this time God’s divine protection would not be on them, for every one who receives the mark of the beast would die both physically and spiritually, away from the presence of the Lord (Revelation 13:16-18). Let us not be willfully sinful to be marked by God as Cain was and let us not be apostate to bear the mark or number of the antichrist, but let us be like Apostle Paul, dying daily to our selfish desires and sin (1 Corinthians 15:31), and bearing God’s mark – the marks of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17), being crucified daily with him (Galatians 2:20).

Genesis 4:15-16 (KJV)
15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Galatians 6:16-18 (KJV)
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:31 (KJV)
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Revelation 13:16-18 (KJV)
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Your punishment does NOT fit your crime

Genesis 4:11-14 gives an account of the dialog between the Lord and Cain and it is paraphrased below:
Lord: Cain, you are now cursed from the earth on which you shed your brother’s blood. Henceforth, the ground that was cursed to yield its produce when your parents (Adam and Eve) sinned shall refrain from yielding forth fruit, even with all your toil. You shall be a fugitive and a vagabond. 
Cain: My punishment is greater than I can bear. Look, I am driven from the face of the earth and your face shall be hid from me. Anyone who sees me shall slay me for I will be a fugitive and a vagabond. 

While on the surface, it may seem like, the Lord had dealt harshly with Cain, it is quite the contrary that is revealed when we delve deep into the Scripture. Cain complained, that his punishment was greater than he could bear. This reveals two things; first, Cain was unrepentant. Instead of confessing his sin and seeking the forgiveness of the Lord, he was focusing on himself and his punishment – the punishment that did not [actually] fit the crime. See, Cain had murdered his brother and according to the law of the Lord, given through Moses, the punishment would need to be equitable – eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth (Matthew 5:36) and in that same respect, that should mean hand for hand, foot for foot, and life for a life (Exodus 21:23-24). However, the law given through Moses, was not in effect yet, for this was before the days of Moses. Then what law (command) did Cain break? Cain broke the same command given to his father and mother, Adam and Eve, i.e, “You disobey God – you die (Genesis 2:16-17)” . Cain was given the option to heed to God’s voice and not let sin rule over him, but Cain willfully chose to disobey God and the wages of sin is death (Genesis 4:7; Romans 6:23). This means that the rightful punishment for Cain would have been “death” for his disobedience. So, herein comes the second revelation – God in his infinite mercy spare’s Cain’s life instead of taking it, as Cain had done of his brother Abel. Having said that, it is however, unfortunate that though Cain was spared physically, he was spiritually dead for his unrepentant heart and sin. His unconfessed sin would have God hide his face from Cain, for the Holiness of God can have nothing to do with unrighteousness (Genesis 4:14; 2 Corinthians 6:14).

Points to ponder:
When the Lord chastises us out of the abundance of his love for us (Hebrews 12:6), let us not be like Cain, complaining, that “our punishment is greater than we can bear”, but instead let us confess and repent of our evil ways. In reality, the our punishment from the Lord does not fit the crime of our disobedience. The punishment we deserved was placed on Jesus Christ, who was not a criminal, yet treated as one, so that we wont have to be. God is merciful, slow to anger, gracious and abounding in love (Psalm 145:8) and this is the reason why our punishment does not fit our crime, but he does expect us to be repentant, of our sinful ways, with a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17), lest we may be physically alive, but spiritually dead! Let not God have to hide his face from you and me, because of any unconfessed sin.

Genesis 4:11-14 (KJV)
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Psalm 145:8 (KJV)
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

Les Misérables Cain

Those who are familiar with Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables, would probably have no contention in agreeing with me that, in the main character, Jean Valjean, is personified the words “fugitive” and “vagabond”. The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word fugitive as someone who is ‘running away to avoid being captured’ and the word vagabond as someone who is ‘moving from place to place without a fixed home.’

Genesis 4:12 records that God told Cain as part of his curse, that Cain would be a fugitive and a vagabond.

Because of the willful sin of Cain, he had to be on the run as a fugitive – running from the Lord God. In addition to Cain being a fugitive, Cain was also sentenced to be a wanderer, because he was weak and he let sin not only wander into his life, but rule over him and became of snare of the devil (Genesis 4:7; 1 John 3:12; 1 Timothy 3:7). As a wanderer, Cain would have been restless, all his life, with no rest. Cain’s life, in a sense, would have been miserable.

Points to ponder:
Let us watch and pray so we do not fall into temptation, for the Spirit of God in us is willing, but our flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Let us give no room for the devil to wander into our life (1 Timothy 3:7), lest we like Cain willfully sin and become a wanderer and a fugitive. Let us not be like Les Misérables Cain.

Genesis 4:12 (KJV)
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

1 Timothy 3:7 (KJV)
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


Man cursed (for the first time)

Genesis 4:11-12 reads “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Close scrutiny of these verses reveal a hidden truth in it. For the very first time in all of history, God pronounces a curse on man. God tells Cain, “And now art thou cursed …” and then tells him that he would need to labor and toil for the produce of the ground and that he shall be a fugitive and vagabond. Even when Adam, Cain’s father, disobeyed God, Adam (the man) was not cursed. Instead God cursed the ground for man’s sake. Then why did God curse Cain?
The answer is hidden in plain sight in this very chapter of the Bible although it warrants a little bit of diving deep to unravel it.
1. Cain was given a chance to do what is right and not let sin rule over him. (Genesis 4:7)
2. Cain willfully chose to ignore God’s warning and opportunity to do right, instead he talked his brother into leading him to slaughter. (Genesis 4:8)
3. Cain acted on his pre-mediated evil thoughts to sin against God and his brother and willfully sinned by murdering his own brother, (not loving his own – 1 John 3:11-12), ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit of God. (Genesis 4:8)
4. Furthermore, when God asked Cain, what he had done, he lied to the Holy God, deserving death as did Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10), instead of admitting (confessing) to his sin. (Genesis 4:9-10).
5. Finally, Cain goes one to counter-question God shrugging off his responsibility without any remorse or penitence. (Genesis 4:9)
But still, did Cain deserve to be cursed? The Bible states that anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit of God commits the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31). To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit of God is continued unbelief, rejecting the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, who convicts the world of
– sin (Cain’s act of committing murder and letting sin rule over him),
– righteousness (found only in Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God, who was slain before the foundation of the World – for Adam, and Cain, and all of mankind) and
– judgment (Cain’s punishment).
Those who reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit have no means to Salvation and are hence accursed. This is why, God has to tell Cain, that cursed he was.

Points to ponder:
After we have the foreknowledge of the Salvation found solely in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, if we continue to keep on sinning willfully, without remorse or repentance, there remains no more sacrifice by which we can be saved, but a fearful looking forward to the indignation of God (Hebrews 10:26-27). For by willfully sinning, we trample the Son of God under our foot, treating the Holy blood of his covenant of love and grace as an unholy thing (Hebrews 10:29).
If we, like Cain
– allow sin to rule over us
– willfully choose to ignore God’s warning and voice
– willfully act on our sinful lusts and desires, ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit
– refuse to admit (confess) when convicted by the Holy Spirit
– shrug off our responsibilities to bring glory to God, without remorse or penitence
then we, like Cain
shall be cursed.

If we love God (Jesus), we shall keep his commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3). This means that we shall not let sin rule over us (Genesis 4:7). And any one who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ is accursed i.e., let him be Anathema Maranatha (1 Corinthians 16:22).  Let it not be so, that God has to tell of us, “And now art thou cursed.

Genesis 4:11-12 (KJV)
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Hebrews 10:26-29 (KJV)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Life is in The Blood

The second half of the Biblical verse recorded in Genesis 4:10 reads “the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Hidden in this personification of the blood of Abel is a treasure that we must not miss  i.e., life is in the blood, irrespective of whether the person is living or dead. Infact, the Bible explicitly states this fact that “life is in the blood” (Genesis 9:4).

Points to ponder:
Abel was led like a lamb by his evil brother Cain (who was under the influence of devil) to slaughter, for Cain talked to Abel and took him to the field where he slew him and then asked if he was Abel’s keeper as in the keeper of sheep (Genesis 4:8-9). The Bible describes Abel as one who is righteous for his sacrifice was accepted (Hebrews 11:4).
Jesus was led as the Lamb to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7) and his innocent blood was shed on the ground at the foot of the Cross of Calvary, but instead of crying out for justice from the ground, it cries out for forgiveness and mercy of God, mediating on behalf of all those who are sinners (Hebrews 12:24; Romans 23). And only by his blood is there remission of sin (Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:18) and those who believe in him are made alive Spiritually, being given the gift of the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 2:38) unto all who believe (John 3:16). Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life and whoever believes in him, shall live though he were dead (John 11:25). In other words, in Jesus Christ, are the dead raised to Spiritual Life, and in his blood is life. Life is in The blood – the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Agnus Dei (the Lamb of God).

The voice of Abel’s blood cried out to God from earth (Hebrews 11:25). The voice of Jesus’ blood continues to cry out to God, for each one us, who are still under the bondage of death. See that you refuse not him that speaks from heaven (Hebrews 12:25) and hear him (Mark 9:7) and believe. Life is only in The Blood of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 4:10 (KJV)
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Genesis 9:4 (KJV)
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Hebrews 12:23-25 (KJV)
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Am I my brother’s keeper?

When God questioned Cain as to the whereabouts of his brother Abel, whom he had murdered, Cain responded first with a lie saying that “I know not” and then counter-questioned God “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This is probably the first counter-question asked by man to God since the creation of man. Though there is no record of God directly and explicitly answering this question of Cain, we must be careful to not write this question off, as one that is rhetorical, for it is not.

Points to ponder:
Are you your brother’s keeper? Am I my brother’s keeper? The answer is an absolute ‘YES’ for the epistle to the Romans makes this very clear that no man lives to himself nor dies to himself (Romans 14:7). Jesus called his disciples, his brothers (Matthew 28:10) and just as God is the keeper of his people (Psalm 121:4), we are expected to be as followers of God (Ephesians 6:1) and keepers of our brethren as well.

Genesis 4:7-9 (KJV)
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Romans 14:7 (KJV)
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Cain is charged with DUI

When God questioned Cain as to the whereabouts of his brother Abel, whom he had murdered, Cain responded first with a lie saying that “I know not” and then counter-questioned God “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God had given Cain a chance to be accepted even though his offering was not (Genesis 4:6-7). At this time, Abel was still alive, but instead of heeding to God’s voice, Cain rejects God’s offer to be accepted. Instead he let’s sin rule over him. He talks to his brother Abel and when they are in the field, Cain rises against his brother Abel and slays him (Genesis 4:7-8). Cain murders his brother and then lied about his murder to God, the omniscient.

Cain willfully chose to blaspheme by rejecting the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God and letting sin rule over him. Cain murdered and lied, because his life was driven by and under the influence (DUI) of the devil. Jesus referred to the devil as a murderer and liar from the very beginning (John 8:44).  Notice the sins of Cain was murder and lies. Notice the devil is the father of lies and a murderer.

Points to ponder:
When we willfully sin against God, rejecting the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, we blaspheme against God and are under the influence of the evil one i.e., our lives are driven by the devil. Let us not willfully reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God (John 16:8-9) and blaspheme against him, lest we shall be like Cain DUI.

Genesis 4:7-9 (KJV)
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

John 8:44 (KJV)
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.