“No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”
Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. (Genesis 4:12,15b)
Every day for the rest of his life Cain had a mark that was a reminder of his sin. I believe there was not a day that went by that Cain didn’t regret what he did. Because of His sin he lost his job. He was no longer allowed to tend the ground. Cain became a wanderer. Sin makes you wander. You can’t stay long in one place because your sin will follow you there. Most of us have the marks, or scars, of sin. We are reminded daily of our choices.
Cain’s mark had a second purpose. It was to identify him. No one was to punish him more than God had. No one was allowed to give him what he deserved. In a way, for Cain, his identifying mark protected him. It was the mark of grace. Every day he was reminded of what he did and that he did not receive what he deserved. I believe that facing that reality daily had to have changed his heart. I hope it changed him like it will change us if we let it.
God has seen all our sin from the choices we have made. He sees the scars that are left behind. Those marks are a reminder that we do not get what we deserve. It is called grace. Grace is the thing every person longs to receive, yet it is slow to give. The thought of giving Cain a pass on punishment is not in our thinking. It is not our nature. But if we look closely, daily, at the scars of our own sinful choices, it will remind us of the grace God has given us. Those marks can also remind us to give grace where grace is needed. We are all marked by sin but more importantly, we are all marked by grace.
Pastor Dan says, “Every day he (Cain) was reminded of what he did and that he did not receive what he deserved.” Do you remember the last time someone gave you a pass, and did not give you what you deserved? (i.e. a friend who overlooked something you said, a mistake you made at work, etc.)
Cain lost his job, but God spared his life. Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair; out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Do you see both God’s justice and his mercy in Cain’s story? Has God rescued you from some “pits” over the course of your life?
Reflection Challenge: Do something kind for someone out of the blue; give a gift, do a chore without asking, apologize to someone for something you may have done to hurt them even if it was a while ago.
Our devotion series this week is adapted from the new book ‘Tale of Two Brothers’ by Dan & Ron Kellogg. Find out more and purchase the book here! You can get the book FREE on Monday, 09/26 and every Sunday from 09/25-10/16 on Amazon Kindle. Don’t miss out on this free download!