GOD’S PROMISES TO MAN AND THE WORLD

GOD’S NO PROMISES TO CAIN

Jehovah asked and then told Cain, “Why are you angry?  Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  Cain succumbed to sin and set a precedent for all of humanity.  What Adam did unconsciously, Cain did consciously.  He initiated the irreversible principle of “what we sow, that we shall also reap,” or “of cause and effect.”  When Cain cut off his brother Abel from God’s Promises, he also cut himself off.  God’s Promises continued with Seth instead.

Knowing good and evil meant that Adam and Eve had a new role to play.  The Creator no longer looked over their shoulders and told the couple what to do and not to do.  It was up to them now to make choices.  These would affect them, their offspring and posterity.  Soon Adam and Eve would learn from their sons, what one regarded as being good the other took as being evil.  Even a little favoritism would escalate into tragedy.  Everything Abel did was pleasing and what Cain did was rejected.  Cain became angry, jealous and contemplated the demise of his brother.  He felt that Abel was favored by God and very likely by his parents (Gen. 4:4-5).

When we come to the murder scene, we have arrived at the core of good and evil.  It has been assumed and taught that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was man’s ability to recognize right from wrong.  While this is true, the actual act of murder by Cain takes us beyond that.  The good and evil became a matter of life and death.  Man began to do what only God could do, namely shed blood and take a life.  This suggests to us that the forbidden fruit was not an apple but blood.  The first couple had actually tasted animal blood, and that was the great discovery of good and evil. The questions that Cain was being asked, sheds more light on the problem of good and evil.  “Why are you angry?  Why is your face down cast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:6-7).

Cain was warned that his intention would oust him from his family and God; but what drove him to kill his brother?  He was the first human to experience the power of evil.  It blinded him to a degree that he no longer could see the good in his brother.  Cain did what God only had the right to do, terminate life by the shedding of blood.  It was the realization that life was in the blood (Deu.12: 23).  Like his parents, Cain was to be a keeper of life and not a killer.  One wonders what Eve killed that enticed Adam and angered God? The Lord did not let Cain be blameless and asked: “Where is your brother?  What have you done?  Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.  Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.  You will be a restless wanderer on the earth” (Gen. 4: 9-12).

Cain became a marked man.  He lost the presence of the Divine and the love of his family.  God did not allow others to rectify one killing by another.  The Creator is the only one who has the right to terminate a life and He has endowed the system with the proper punishment.  Cain knew it when he confessed saying, “My punishment is more than I can bear.”  He had violated the Mandate of the Promise and alienated himself from God, his own family and from his fellow men.  And what is extremely sad is that Cain made no attempt whatsoever to repent of his sin and return to God.  He made matters worse by nailing shut the coffin of disobedience his father had built. Good and evil had become man’s worst curse.  He has had an enormously difficult time preserving life.  Death had become an ever-present reality.  According to the New Testament, death is the enemy of all enemies.  Its weapons are accidents, catastrophes, diseases, murders and wars.  Whenever an innocent life is lost at the hands of man, a soul has been robed of its opportunity to be an instrument of God in this world. 

Cain’s exit from the Lord’s Promises put man on a course without God.  Not only was he on his own but he became progressively worse.  He began to form his own laws and attach his own interpretation to what supposedly was the Creator’s Mandate.  Take the man called Lamech.  He broke two laws: the law of matrimony by taking two wives and the law of murder in killing two men.  To add insult to injury, he invoked a curse tenfold worse than Cain’s (Gen. 4:19-24).   At this point the Genesis account introduced Adam’s heir Seth into the Promises (Gen. 4:25-6:8).  Seth represented the godly line and Cain represented the people without God.  At this time the sons of God became enamored with the daughter’s of men and gave birth to the Nephilim.   The first revival or a return to God was led by Seth’s first son Enosh.   It was followed by a lengthy religious dry spell or a lack of interest in Elohim.   Enoch revived interest but paid with his life.  He simply vanished and it was believed that God took him away.   Then we have Noah and the Deluge.  By this time the Sethites had succumbed to Cain and his Nods and their children or Nephilim ran the world without any moral or spiritual direction.

The Nephilim had become the gods of their time (Gen. 6:1-4).  These ancient dignitaries appear to have had the same impact on their world as celebrities have in our time.  It was a system with totally lopsided values and morals.  Materialism and sensuality were sought after with great sacrifices.  Vanity had replaced virtue and madness insanity.  The Biblical witness states: “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.  The Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them'” (Gen. 6:5-7).

Ever since that tragic act of disobedience, sin has not just camped at our door but has entered homes, institutions, nations and even churches.  Man has given way to his desire or his passion.  He does not even make an attempt to master or keep in check his impulses.  Like Cain or Lamech, he resorts to murder and expects a medal for having disposed of his enemies.  As far as God is concerned, they are not enemies or unwanted human beings, but brothers and sisters whose blood cries out to Him from the earth upon which we live.  And we too are leading lives and lifestyles that strongly suggest that we have been expelled from the presence of God.  We too are surrounded, not by blessings, but by curses.  We too have the cent of blood on our hands.  And we too have disobeyed the “Thou shalt not eat {taste or touch}, for the day you do you shall die.” “No one can put new wine into old wine bags and expect a harvest.”

Jehovah did not reject Cain.  Cain rejected the Lord by disobedience and severed his own relationship with God’s Promises or Predestination.  He trampled on God’s warning and chose not to live within the bounds of God’s predestined plan for man.  Cain did not want Jehovah to govern over him or his future.  He declared his independence of the Creator and became the head of all those that think man is the measure of all things.  Whenever God tried to insert Himself into the affairs of man, man felt he could do better without Him.   Even the people of Israel that once were within the Covenant of God stepped out.  They demanded that Samuel find them a king and the Lord’s word to the prophet was, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you that they have rejected as their king, but me.  As they have done from the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you,” (I Sam. 8:7-8).  We might take Jesus’ warning to heart, “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on earth” (Lk. 18:8)?  Are we not reaping what we have sown?