Cain and Abel
Dr. Joe Temple

All Men Are Born Sinners

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Genesis, chapter 4. You will remember that we have studied the entrance of sin into the human race through Adam, the federal head of the human race. We found that as a result of Adam's sin, God visited punishment not only upon Adam, but upon the whole human race, so that the whole world stands condemned before God. The whole world stands sinners before God.

We are going to begin to see in chapter 4 what happens because men are sinners. I want you to notice what I just said. I want you to remember it, and hold it in your minds. What happens because men are sinners? Listen carefully to what I am going to say, because this statement I am about to make I believe makes the difference between a theology based upon the Word of God and a theology based upon the traditions of men. This is the statement: Men are not sinners because they sin. They sin because they are sinners. Will you get that? Men are not sinners because they sin. They sin because they are sinners.

That may seem like a strange statement to some of you, but if you think through it clearly, you will find that it is true. For example, a man is not a thief because he steals. He steals because he is a thief. A man is not a murderer because he kills. He kills because he is a murderer. If this seems like an empty play on words, it isn't. The reason I am making these statements is that I want you to see that men need not reformation, but regeneration. You can take an unsaved, unregenerated man, and you can get him to promise, to pledge, that he will never steal as long as he lives, but you have no assurance that he will not. You may get a man to promise that he will never kill his whole life long. He may grit his teeth and say, “I won't kill. I know I won't,” but if he is an unregenerated man, he will kill, because men are not murderers because they kill. They kill because they are murderers.

All this will become clear, I think, as we look at chapter 4 of the book of Genesis. We are going to see that what is reported here is the result of what happened in Genesis, chapter 3. We read from verse 1 of Genesis, chapter 4:

Genesis 4:

1And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
2And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7If 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.
8And 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.
9And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14Behold, 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.
15And 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.
16And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

We will stop our reading there. I am sure that is as far as we will be able to get in our discussion. The rest of chapter 4 tells what happens when Cain went out of the presence of the Lord, when Cain was on his own, leaving God out of his life. It will provide, when we get to it, a very interesting discussion.

In the Image of Adam

You will remember that Adam and Eve had sinned, and because they had sinned they were shut out of the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life was located. Adam and Eve both were created in the image of God, but when they sinned, they fell from that image. And in the very first verse of Genesis, chapter 4, we are introduced to two people on the earth who were not in the image of God, but in the image of Adam. And anyone in the image of Adam is capable of anything. You may not like that. It may not flatter you. You may not particularly appreciate it, but I say again, anyone created in the image of Adam is capable of anything at all.

You may say, “I resent that. There has never been a murderer in our family, and there is never going to be.” Well, get on your knees and thank God that there has not ever been. Ask God to give you grace, and in grace to protect you from anything like that, because there well could be. You may say, “There has never been a thief in all our family. How dare you say I will steal?” If you are a son of Adam, you are capable of stealing, and you may as well face it. The only thing that keeps you from stealing is the grace of God. We take so very much for granted in our lives that we never attribute to God's grace, but the only reason in the world that some of us, and perhaps all of us, have not up to this point died in the electric chair or the gas chamber is by the grace of God. You are capable of that because you are a son of Adam. Anyone created in the image of Adam is capable of the very worst kind of thing. I am being emphatic about this because that is the reason for this chapter.

The First Children

Notice the first verse of Genesis, chapter 4:

Genesis 4:

1And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
2And she again bare his brother Abel…

Let us get something straight in our thinking . We assume too much, I think, with regard to the Word of God. Some assumptions are not warranted by fact. There is no way to tell how much time elapsed between the fall of Genesis, chapter 3, and the first birth of Genesis, chapter 4. The thing I want you to see is that Cain was not the result of Adam's fall. Adam's fall was deliberate disobedience. But Adam had fallen, so the child by the name of Cain was born in the sin of Adam, capable of murder, which he committed. Abel was born in the image of Adam, capable of murder, from which he was saved by the grace of God, as we are going to see before we are through.

Eve, bless her dear heart, remembered a promise that God gave to her after she had sinned. Remember, God said to her, “What is this that thou hast done?” Then he told her some of the things that were going to happen because of what she had done. In verse 15 of Genesis, chapter 3, He said:

Genesis 3:

15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

As we examined that verse in detail, we found that the seed of the woman was the Lord Jesus Christ. But what God promised Eve was that a child would be born who would undo what she had done. Remember we told you that one of the curses that God placed upon Eve was a burden of sorrow. Eve lived her entire life with the stigma of what she had done resting heavily upon her heart. She longed to be free again.

When Cain was born, did you notice what she said? “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Literally, it was “I have gotten a man by the help of the Lord. This is God's answer to His promise. This is God's answer to my prayer.” It is doing no violence to this Scripture at all to assume that Eve every night of her life had said, “Oh God, how can I undo what I have done?” Then Cain was born, and she said, “This is the answer. I have gotten me a man with the help of the Lord.” That Cain was tremendously important in her life is evident because of the little that is said of Abel in the next verse: “And she again bare his brother Abel.” That is all. Cain was the important one. Abel was just another child.

Offering of Cain and Abel

There is nothing in the Scripture about their childhood, only a reference to their adult life. But evidently in their childhood they were trained in the things of God, and they were told of the approach that might be made to God. It came time for them to bring their offerings to God as adults, because in the Old Testament the adult brought the offering for the whole family. These boys were grown. They had homes of their own, and it was necessary for them to bring an offering. In order for us to notice the two backgrounds, we are told in the last part of verse 2 that Abel was the keeper of the sheep, and Cain was a tiller of the ground. One was a farmer, and one was a shepherd. Those were the two vocations in which the boys were interested. In verse 3:

Genesis 4:

3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof…

Using modern terminology, we might say that it came time to go to church. The phrase in verse 3, “In the process of time,” literally means “at the end of a set number of days,” which indicates that at a stated time, they were to bring their offerings.

At the end of the set number of days, Cain brought an offering to the Lord. The word brought is a word which refers to going to a stated place for a stated purpose…that is, bringing an offering to a stated place for a stated purpose. What does this mean? It means that there was a place where Adam offered sacrifices to God. There was a place where Cain was instructed to bring sacrifices to God. Where was that place? We are not told definitely, but we can gather from verse 24 of the preceding chapter where it was.

Genesis 3:

24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

At the east of the Garden of Eden, God placed Cherubim and dwelt in the midst of them. That is what the verse literally says. He drove out the man, and He (God) dwelled. That is the literal meaning of the word placed . God dwelled at the east of the Garden of Eden between the Cherubim with flaming swords which turned every way to preserve the Tree of Life. So we do not do violence to the Scripture at all to say that the place where God met man was at the east gate of the Garden of Eden. Adam, all through the years, brought his sacrifice to the east gate of the Garden.

Remember, we do not know how much time lapsed between Genesis, chapter 3, and Genesis, chapter 4. When the boys left home, he said, “Now, boys, do not neglect your sacrifices to God, and bring them to the east gate at the appointed time.” So when the appointed time came, Cain brought his sacrifice. He brought unto the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. Cain was a proud man. The rest of this chapter indicates that. He probably brought the finest corn and the finest wheat, the finest of everything he had, to the east gate to the Lord. And Abel brought his offering to the Lord. Abel brought a sheep. Abel slew the sheep, shed its blood, and burned its fat on an altar as a sacrifice to the Lord. You say, “How in the world do you know all that? It does not say it there.” It does if you are familiar with the Scripture. Look at verse 4:

Genesis 4:

4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof…

If we had time to go through the book of Leviticus and examine various offerings that were brought for sin, we would find this phrase often mentioned, “the firstlings and the fat.” Then the details are given about how the sheep was slain, the sheep was offered, and the fat burned. The blood of the lamb was a sacrifice for sin. The burning of the fat was a symbol of the fact that the offerer was holding absolutely nothing back. It was in complete devotion to God. Abel offered that kind of sacrifice to God.

One Offering Accepted, the Other Rejected

Notice the last part of verse 4:

Genesis 4:

4…the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect…

Notice what it says. He had respect for Abel's offering. He did not respect Cain's offering. What does it mean to have respect ? Here again, if you will follow this phrase through the book of Leviticus, you will find that it is a reference to fire coming down out of Heaven and devouring the sacrifice. When Abel placed that lamb on the altar, when he slew it and the blood was shed, and he offered the fat and the burnt offering, fire came down from Heaven and devoured the sacrifice. Abel then knew his sacrifice had been accepted.

But when Cain placed his vegetables and fruit upon the altar, not one thing happened. They remained there, cold and alone. Cain knew what it meant. He knew that God did not accept his offering, and you will notice in the last part of verse 5:

Genesis 4:

5…And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

He got mad at God because God would not accept the offering he had brought.

Someone might say, “How unfair of God. How unjust. Didn't Cain do the best that he could? Didn't he bring him the very best of all his crops? Why, if Abel was a shepherd and brought his sheep, and Cain a farmer and brought his pumpkin, why wouldn't God accept it?” Abel did not bring his sheep because he was a shepherd He brought the sheep because he believed God's word. Had he been a coal miner, he would have brought the sheep, because he believed the Word of God.

How do we know that?

A More Excellent Sacrifice

Turn with me to the book of Hebrews, chapter 11. We read from verse 1:

Hebrews 11:

1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Notice in verse 4 there is not a word about the excellency of the sacrifice or the lack of it. There is only a reference to the faith with which the sacrifice was offered. Someone says, “Well, don't you think Cain had faith?” Listen to me: It is very, very important for you to get this, because there is a lot of talk going around about faith today. If you listen to it on the surface you think it is all right, but it can lead you astray. It is not a matter of faith only. It is a matter of the object of your faith. That is what makes the difference. It is not going to help you to say, “I believe, I believe, I believe.” It is a matter of the object of that faith. Cain believed there was a God. He would not have bothered to bring the sacrifice if he had not. But he did not believe God's Word. He was like a multitude of people today. They say, “I can approach God any way I want to approach Him.” Cain neglected to believe that when God says there is one way to approach God and only one way, there is only one way! Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by faith.

Faith in what? Faith in what his father and what his mother had told him. His father and mother had told him that the only way of approach to God is through the sacrifice or a substitute. How do we know that? Let us go back to the book of Genesis and notice in chapter 3, verse 21. Before verse 21, man had lost his fellowship with God. In verse 21 that fellowship was restored. How was it?

Genesis 3:

21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

In verse 7, Adam and Eve made coats of fig leaves. God said, “That will not do. You cannot hide yourself in unrighteousness with fig leaves…the effort of your own hands. I will make the thing that will hide your sins.” He did it in verse 21. He slew an animal. The blood was shed, and He took the skin and made clothes for Adam and Eve, and fellowship was restored. He set up that practice of approach to God. The shedding of blood as a substitute means approach to God. All through the Old Testament, down until the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood on the Cross, man approached God through the death of an animal. That was the only way. And the Lord Jesus died. His blood was shed, and the Bible tells us that settled it once and for all. God said, “When I look upon My Son, and I see His blood, I accept it as a fulfillment of all the blood of all the animals up to this point, and no animal needs to die again, for My Son died once and for all.”

If you want to, you can approach God with your works, with your efforts, with your own ideas of your own goodness, but God will not have anything to do with you. Or you can approach God, in the words of the song, “In my hand no price I bring; simply to thy Cross I cling,” and God will accept it.

The standing I have before God, I have not because of anything I am or anything I do. It is because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. That is all.

A Child of God and A Child of the Devil

Abel believed that. He believed Adam when he said, “Son, don't ever try to come to God without blood.” And Cain in so many words said, “I know more than the old man knows. There is no reason I cannot bring the best of everything I've got.” And he did, and God refused to have anything to do with him. There was a difference in these two boys. Do you know what the difference was? One was born again, and one was not. One was a changed boy, a regenerated boy, and the other was a sinner…unsaved. That happens in families a lot of times…one boy born again, another boy unsaved. Just because you are born in a Christian family does not mean you are a Christian. You must be born again!

How do I know these boys were one of them saved and one of them lost? Let's let the Holy Spirit make the comment. Turn with me, please, to the first Epistle of John, chapter 3, verse 10:

I John 3:

10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

That is all we are going to read, because that is our subject…Cain. If you will look at verse 10, you will find the Spirit of God saying very definitely that Cain belonged to the Devil. That is what it says. There are some people going around today saying that all of us are the children of God. No, we are not. The Bible says that some of us are the children of the Devil, and some of us are the children of God. That is what the Bible says. People who do not believe the Bible say that we are all children of God. The Bible very definitely says that Cain was a child of the wicked one, and he killed his blood brother. Yes, we are brothers by creation. We are brothers in the flesh. We are children of God by creation, but we are not members of the family of God unless we are born again.

John, chapter 1, verse 12, says, “As many as receive the Lord Jesus Christ, to them gives he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” The word power there is a word that may be translated authority . “To them gives He the authority to become the sons of God.”

I have seven children who have the authority to say that I am their father, no more and no less. Anyone else who says I am his father is a liar. Those children have the authority to call me father because they were born into my family. If you have never been born again, and you say that God is your Father, you are a liar! Your father is the Devil. If you want God to be your Father, there is one way He can be. Receive His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Savior, and He will give you the authority right then to be called His son. Cain was of the Devil.

Do you remember in I John, chapter 3, verse 12, why it was that Cain slew his brother? Because his own works were evil and his brother's righteous. Cain was mad, murderously mad, because envy and jealousy had taken the throne of his heart. He was mad because Abel was righteous, and he was unrighteous. That is verified in what the Lord Jesus Christ had to say. The Lord Jesus Christ said in the Gospel of John that the world would hate us Christians for one reason and for one reason alone.

Let me digress long enough to say that the world hates some of us because we are hateful, and we may as well realize that. The Lord gets blamed for a lot for which He ought not to be blamed. Your Christian testimony gets blamed for a whole lot for which it ought not be blamed. Some of us are just plain despicable. We are going around saying, “No one loves me because I am a Christian.” They would not love you if you were not a Christian. You are hateful, mean, and full of the Devil, and that is why they do not love you.

Aside from that, the world does not have to have a reason to hate you. Unsaved people will hate you for no other reason, the Lord Jesus Christ said, than that you belong to Him. There is something about you if you really belong to the Lord that makes the Devil mad. So he pinches his children and makes them fuss. That is what creates a lot of disturbance and a lot of trouble.

An Angry Cain and God's Remedy

That is exactly what was wrong with Cain. He was mad. Mad because Abel's sacrifice was accepted and his was not. That indicates that his heart was not right, as you will see if you will turn back to Genesis, chapter 4, verse 6:

Genesis 4:

6And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

The Lord said, “Cain, why are you mad? Why are you disappointed? You have no right to be.” In verse 7:

Genesis 4:

7If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?…

“You don't need to be mad at Abel, and you don't need to be mad at me. I will accept your sacrifice if you bring it right.” Then notice what He said in the middle of verse 7:

Genesis 4:

7…and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…

There is nothing wrong with this statement as far as a truth is concerned. That is the problem, as I tried to say to you at the very beginning. You have a problem because sin lies at the door. That is a truthful statement. There is no question about that. But literally, that is not what this verse says. Literally, what it says is, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?…and if thou doest not well, a sin offering lies at the door.” The word that is translated sin here, everywhere else in the Old Testament is translated sin offering . What He is saying here is, “If you are not pleased because I have turned down your offering, there is a little lamb right there at your finger tips. Take it. Offer it. That is all that is necessary.”

The Apostle Paul said essentially the same thing in his letter to the Romans:

Romans 10:

8…The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,…

What word? The word of faith.

Romans 10:

9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

God says to us today in this age when we do not need these animal sacrifices that if things are not going well, your deliverance is as close as your heart. It is the word of faith that is in your heart. Just reach out and in faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you have got your sin offering. He said to Cain, “There is the little lamb at the door. Take it, offer it as an offering, and all will be well.” Notice the last part of verse 7:

Genesis 4:

7…And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

That is a confusing statement if it is taken by itself. But if it is taken in conjunction with the rest of the Word of God, and if you put in the word Abel's for the pronoun his , it becomes very clear. “And unto thee shall be Abel's desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” You see, the economy that was set up in the Old Testament was that the first-born son was the spiritual head of the house, and he ruled over the entire house, spiritually speaking.

You remember the story of Jacob and Esau. Esau was the eldest son. He had a birthright. That is what this is talking about. He did not care anything about his birthright. He sold it for a mess of pottage. Jacob realized what a wonderful privilege it would be to be the spiritual leader of the house, and he said, “I would love to have that privilege.” So he took it from Esau.

Cain had this spiritual privilege, but he lost it, or he was about to lose it, because of the way he approached God. God said to him, “Cain, don't be foolish. Don't go on in your own stubborn way. If you are not doing right, there is a sacrifice. Take it and offer it, and I will accept it, and I will accept you, and you can continue as the spiritual leader of the house.” But sad to say, he refused, as do many people refuse God's way today. Cain left a great host of people to follow in his footsteps.

Will you turn with me to the Epistle of Jude in the New Testament. It has only one chapter, and we are going to notice just one verse of it. The Epistle of Jude is speaking about false teachers and false preachers who leave the blood out of their preaching. Jude says in verse 11:

Jude:

11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Three Old Testament characters…(Cain, Balaam, and Core (Korah)…are used as leaders of people who leave God's way out of their thinking. A great multitude are gone in the way of Cain. What do we mean by that? A great multitude have said like Cain, “God will accept me on my own terms, or he will not accept me.” And God does not accept people like that.

The First Murder

Go back to the book of Genesis, please, to chapter 4, verse 8. Cain talks with Abel, his brother:

Genesis 4:

8And 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.

The phrase, “Cain talked with Abel his brother,” is such in the original language that Cain said to Abel in so many words, “Let's go out in the field today.” This was a premeditated thing. Maybe he said, “Let's go hunting,” or maybe he said, “Let's go out and see how the wheat is doing.” I do not know. He said, “Let's go out in the field today.” When he got him out there, they talked things over, and Abel, according to chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews, said in so many words, “Cain, you know there is no other way to get to God than by blood sacrifice. Why don't you give up this way of yours? Why don't you come to God's way?” It infuriated Cain, and he slew Abel, and Abel became the first Christian martyr. We talk about Stephen being the first Christian martyr, but Abel was the first Christian martyr. Abel died for his faith.

God Punishes Sin

Of course Cain had to have a reckoning with God. Every man must have a reckoning with God. If you have permitted the Lord Jesus Christ to settle the accounts for you, there is nothing charged against you. But if you have not permitted Him to settle the accounts, you are going to have to settle them some day. Cain had to settle an account.

Notice God's mercy. God said to Cain in verse 9, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Don't you think God knew? Of course He knew, because He was God. In verse 10 He said, “The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.” He knew. Why did He say to Cain, “Where is thy brother?” Why did He say to Cain, “What hast thou done?” He was dealing with Cain in mercy. He wanted Cain to confess his sin. He wanted Cain to say, “Oh, God, I did a horrible thing. I killed my brother Abel.” But there was no repentance on the part of Cain. In anger and rebellion he said, “I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper? Why are you asking me?” When it was evident that there was no repentance, God dealt with Cain in judgment. Verse 11 is the beginning of the judgment that God passed on Cain:

Genesis 4:

11And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

When Adam sinned, God cursed the earth. When Cain sinned, God placed a curse on Cain related to the earth. What was that? In verse 12:

Genesis 4:

12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength;…

God told Adam, “I am going to curse the ground, Adam. You are going to have a very hard time with it. There are going to be rocks and thorns. There are going to be thistles and parasites, and everything you get you are going to have to fight for.” That has been the history of man. Of course, in our modern age we are not so conscious of the fight still going on. It is done in a more civilized, diplomatic way than it was done in the days of our forefathers.

What did He say to Cain? He said, “Cain, when you till the ground you are not going to get a thing out of it. You will sow a crop, and you will not have any harvest. Anything you do is going to result in failure.” And Cain found that to be true, because in the last part of this chapter, Cain became the first city dweller. He was a farmer moved to town. There is no point in farming if you cannot make anything. So he became the first city dweller, and the descendants of Cain became the first inventors, and the first city civilization was instituted. Notice what God said in the second part of the curse:

Genesis 4:

12…a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

What does He mean by that? He means that he is never going to find a permanent resting place. Oh, he did not mean that he would never find a place to settle down and build a house. He said he would never know any peace.

And that is the state of the wicked today. The Bible says it. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” The Bible says that the wicked are like the troubled sea, rolling to and fro. There is no peace. Cain had no peace. As a matter of fact, you will notice in verse 16:

Genesis 4:

16And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

The word Nod means wander . He was such a reckless spirit that his very personality characterized the place where he settled…the land of wander. Don't worry about where he got his wife. He took her with him. I have already told you he had his home. If you will look back at verse 13:

Genesis 4:

13And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Godly Sorrow and Worldly Sorrow

Did you notice? He was sorry, but not sorry for his sin. He was sorry for his punishment. You need to make the distinction between sorrows that the Bible does. The Bible says in II Corinthians, chapter 7, that there are two kinds of sorrow…the sorrow of the world and Godly sorrow. The sorrow of the world ends in death. It just makes a man sorry for what he is, but that is all…sorry that he had all the hard knocks and sorry that all the blows have been low. Godly sorrow is that sorrow that makes us realize that we are terrible sinners, and we are sorry for our sin. We repent of it and turn about face. Cain was sorry for himself. He said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from thy face shall I be hid. 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.” He thinks, “I might as well die.” But what did God say in verse 15:

Genesis 4:

15And 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.

God said, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay. No one else is going to usurp my authority. If anyone dares to kill Cain, I will take vengeance on him sevenfold.” And so that no one would, God put a mark upon Cain. Everyone in that day knew about Cain's being a wanderer, a vagabond. No one wanted him around. No one wanted to have anything to do with him, and there was some kind of mark on him that kept men from getting close to him.

I do not believe in speculating. I do not know what that mark was. The Bible does not say, and I do not know. No one else knows either, in spite of what they might say. If they can give me a Scripture verse for it, I will accept it. Whatever the mark was that God put on Cain, he put it on him to preserve his life, because part of Cain's punishment for his sin was the wandering life of a vagabond. And the saddest thing about the whole thing is found in verse 16:

Genesis 4:

16And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord…

That is the sad state of every person without Jesus Christ. He has no fellowship and no contact with God. The most dangerous place in the world to be is in the shoes of an unsaved man. He has no claim on God. He is on his own. Anything can happen to him. The only thing he can pray is, “God help me. God be merciful to me a sinner.”


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