January 24, 2011: Genesis 2:22 – 4:26 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Steve Kim, Gracepoint Riverside

Consider the questions God asks in this text. (3.9; 4.9)  How are these questions related? Both questions were God’s attempt to give them a chance to confess what they did wrong.

What relational consequences of sin emerge from this text? Adam and Eve’s sin results in a severing of relationship with God.  They felt the need to hide from Him.  Also their sin caused them to hide from each other.  Suddenly they felt shame of their nakedness before each other as well, so they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. Similarly with Cain, he too cut off His relationship with God through being evasive about the wrong he did to Abel. He severed his relationship with his own brother by killing him. Cain carried on the effects of that first sin Adam and Eve committed against God as he exercised his right to determine what is good and evil.  At that moment out in the field he felt he had the right to get rid of Abel by killing him, because Abel was a constant reminder of how he was less righteous and less favored before God.

Why is it that asserting yourself in defiance of God’s right to determine good and evil inevitably leads to wandering (meaning of “Nod” 4.16), fear, isolation and strife? Because to assert my own good and evil will result in what Cain did, which is to react in a self-centered perspective.  It was based on his own sense of what is good or evil that led him to take Abel’s life so recklessly and brutally.  For his warped self-centered perspective the greater evil was to feel inferior and jealous towards Abel, so to end that guy’s life was a good thing. This sort of defiance of God’s standard of good and evil led to wandering, fear, isolation and strife, because no matter how much Cain might’ve insisted he had a right to do what he wanted, God is the judge.  There is an absolute standard of good and evil, consequently there are consequences to our actions and thoughts. Those consequences include wandering, fear, isolation, and strife. The truth of what we did wrong catches up to us, and it will cause us to be repentant or to take flight like Cain.  To wander restlessly with shame and guilt and with fear.  Cain feared that he would get killed if someone found him out in the world, because he knew that his dastardly actions deserved it.  He knew he that what he did deserved the punishment of death, and so he appealed to God.  Cain in despair cries out to God, “My punishment is more than I can bear.”  And indeed that was true.  The weight of his sin was more than he can ever pay.  And the amazing thing is God didn’t treat Cain as his sin deserved.  God showed him mercy.  God placed a mark of protection on him, so that he would be spared. Some theologians would say that this is foreshadowing of God showing mercy to sinners through the cross of Jesus. In any case, this reveals our God to be a God of grace and mercy.

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