Genesis 4:13 - 14
ESV - 13 Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.
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Cain and Abel were the first two children of Adam and Eve, but Seth wasn't necessarily the third. One of the commands to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. We are not told how old Cain was when he killed Abel, he could have been 200 at the time. He could have already had 50 other brothers/sisters and they could have already been grandparents. When you live to be very old and have a long fertility period, and are operating off the command from God to be fruitful and multiply, I suspect the population would have grown incredibly rapidly in the beginning.
The basic problem that led to the fall of Adam and Eve was their distorted view of the character of God. They imagined that God misled to them and kept certain things away from them, they distrusted Him for that and the end result was sin. As soon as they had sinned they realized how wrong they were and they regretted it. If you look closely Cain’s sin followed the same pattern. He allowed hate, jealousy and envy to consume him and that led to him committing the first murder. Why did he hate his brother? Because he imagined that God unfairly favored Abel over him. In short his distorted view of the character of God led him to sin. Notice that God in Gen 4:9 has direct communication with a fresh sinner who has just committed one of the worst sins and crimes on earth. Murder with constructive is the ultimate in sins and in courts receives the highest sentence, usually a life for a life. But here we have God coming down to speak to such a sinner. Worse we have God actually granting the request of the sinner once he had realised the gravity of his sin. It’s amazing that God would do this. Gen 4:14 implies that it was Cain’s sin which separated him from God and driving him away from God’s presence. It is sin that separates us from God. It’s amazing to realise that it is not God who flees from Himself because we have sinned but ourselves who run away to become “wanderers”. The same pattern follows Adam & Eve’s sin, they ran away and “hid” from God. In fact God came seeking for them and calling out despite the fact that He has observed everything they did. The same applies to Cain, God came to draw Himself close to him but Cain realizing the gravity of his sin instead chose to flee from the presence of God. He didn’t have faith that God’s grace was sufficient to cover his sins. I think all of us have felt the shame and guilt after sinning. We are ashamed to even pray let alone go to church. That is the nature of sin. It wants to keep you away from the very source of forgiveness and cleansing. This story gives hope to anyone and everyone who has ever committed sin that God has not abandoned us let alone banished us from His presence. God came down to lovingly talk to Cain and seek out his heart. God is still out there looking for us regardless of the gravity of your sin. You just have to trust that His grace is sufficient to cover your sins not fig leaves. God still cared for Cain deeply. He would not let him go away without hope of salvation to think that he was doomed. God put a mark on Cain, what was that mark? My view is that the mark was the hope of forgiveness of sin redemption. The surety that Jesus the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world was still available for Cain if he chose to accept. The real tragedy would have been for Cain to go away without hope of salvation or forgiveness of his sin and die without repentance. That would have been the ultimate victory for satan because beyond the grave there is no repentance. But a loving God gave Cain the hope that he still had a chance at salvation, that he wasn’t doomed to eternal death. True Cain probably had other brothers and sisters but it would be a stretch to surmise that they would have sought revenge and killed him. Remember creation was still fresh and to imagine that all siblings would quickly degenerate into such gruesome killings is most unlikely. To me the most plausible explanation is that he feared for his future away from the presence of God and the dark world of sin that was claiming him as one of their own – irredeemable. Cain was smitten by his conscience what the bible terms “afraid”. His sin was “haunting” him. The most important lesson to take home from this is that no one is irredeemable, no matter the gravity of your sin God still seeks you out and if you accept the invitation you too will have the hope of salvation.
The bible doesn't say that Cain and Abel were Adam and Eve's first children and I don't believe they were. The bible isn't a chronological account of the history of man, the world, or God. The story of Cain and Abel serves as a snapshot of the vertex of the sin problem from the beginning of time; a son kills his brother out of envy and jealousy. Misconceptions of the purpose of being told of certain events might be why questions like this one appears. Many believe God is interested in informing us of what was happening at a time when there were only four people on Earth. That's an oversimplification of the scriptures and could be the cause of the confusion that produces these kinds of basic assumptions. The bible is not a precise historical account of the world's existence. The bible teaches that God created the heavens and the Earth, (Gen 1:1) and that the Earth was in its basic form and empty. The story moves so fast that it leads to what I believe to be, erroneous suppositions that all the actions of God depicted in the story occurred as quickly as it takes to read of them. The complexity of the structure and composition of the Earth loudly testifies that the scientific knowledge God has awarded us has to be incorporated into our theological conclusions. "Creation Week" should be believed and understood with the same faith necessary to believe and understand the doctrine of "the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world" (Rev 13:8). And how are we to grasp God [ loving ] Jesus "before the foundation of the world," as Jesus pronounced in his prayer for His disciples and for those who would believe the preaching of the word? (Jn 17:24) I believe God gains His greatest glory when creatures created in His image, who are gifted by Him with the intelligence needed to accomplish extraordinary achievements, such as space travel, will humble themselves to trust what they CAN'T understand, that He unceremoniously tells them. God's not interested in proving Himself to us by reasonable evidence. We have no way of comprehending anything happening before the world is here, and God knows it. Regardless of how strongly we publish that we believe Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years (Gen 5:5) we aren't humanly capable of mentally digesting it, and God knows it. We have confidence in God and rely on his faithfulness and love for us, to preserve our faith in Him when our human nature interferes with our christian theology. I've lost count of the times I've heard that the bible is a book of fairy tales, and it isn't a mystery why it appears that way to those who think so. However, that should be the very thing to give us pause. You can't, or won't get to the prophecies that have been proven true if you get halted at the beginning wondering where the woman came from whom Cain is reported to have married (Gen 4:17). Genesis 4 begins by telling us Adam knew his wife and she bore Cain. It sounds as if we're being told this is the first sexual act in history. She bore again and had Abel. Up until this point in the story only four people have been named. By verse 17 Cain has killed Abel, has been driven out of God's presence by the LORD, and is married, all in a matter of seventeen verses. Common sense tells me that these four people weren't occupying the Earth alone. Eve is called in Gen 3:20 the mother of ALL LIVING. If there are other people living in the land of Nod east of Eden where Cain settles, then this seventeen verse accounting of life in Eden is just a snippet of a tremendous story too fabulous to enumerate. The feature of the narrative that's worth pondering is whether it's true that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). This gift of life was determined before the foundation of the world, before life was on Earth.
Before Jesus came to wipe away our blemishes, it was an eye for an eye. Because it was not hidden what Cain did to Abel, naturally it was possible that Cain became an obvious target of a reprimand. Cain knew that because he was not a stranger to what happens to people whom God's eyes does not follow. Then Cain said to the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, You have driven me out this day from the face of the land, and from Your face I will be hidden; and I will be a fugitive and a vagabond and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. (Genesis 4:13, 14 AMP)
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