Word for the day Christian Education Forum
Dignity of Labour and Divine Commissioning
"So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden." v16
Often in life, we start to settle down and form a routine. It gets difficult for us to “own up” to our sins and mistakes in life. So often in relationships, we have difficult times admitting that we blew it. We sometimes tend to ignore the problem and hope that things will eventually get better. We end up trusting in our own abilities rather than seeking God. As parents, we strive to be perfect for our kids. We try our best to teach them to walk the right path and follow God, but unknowingly we lead them farther away from God than we ever dreamed. That is the greatest failure a parent could ever experience. In our passage today the Bible gives us a warning about a lifestyle void of God. At times like Cain we may stumble through life, we may have heavy burdens, we may not be on best-speaking terms with God, and like Cain, we infect our children with a lifestyle away from God. In this passage, we see “what not to do” and how we can travel further away from the presence of God.
In Genesis 4:16, “So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” In this verse, we see the first thing that can cause our family to go further from God. We can move our family away from God by refusing to dwell in the presence of God. We see Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, not God chasing him out of his presence. Cain decided to set his eyes on a new goal and walked out of to a new land with a new purpose. He refused to accept the consequences of his wrongdoing. In Genesis 4:11-15 we see that God punished Cain for his wrongdoing, “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 of the earth.” Cain instead of asking for God’s mercy and seeking his help started to complain, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land and I will be hidden from your presence.” Cain complained because the earth was not going to be kind to him as before he committed his sin. He also complained he would become a wanderer and he is going to be hidden from His presence. God tried to clarify to Cain that he won’t be away from his presence. “Lord said to him “Not so; anyone who will kill Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Sometimes our biggest pitfall is our innate desire to excuse ourselves and complain if we are judged in any way. We often tend to say “it’s not fair” when we are judged or punished for our sinful deeds. Instead, it is easier for us to wander away from God out of our own deep sense of guilt and the hardness of our hearts. We tend to fear what society will say to us rather than seeking God’s own protection.
Second, we can move our family away from God by refusing to acknowledge God in our lives. In Genesis 4:17 “Cain made love to his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city and he named it after his son Enoch.” We see Cain starting to build a life of his own. He started a family. When we are away from God, our priorities start to change. Cain then started building a city. It was his attempt to settle down. He was trying to flee from the punishment of being a “restless wanderer of the earth”. He might have built the city to counteract God’s statement of being a wanderer. He built a community for himself as a sense of security, that way he would not have to depend on God. But in reality, there is no security without God in our lives. Cain built the city and monuments for his family, not for God. He dedicated the city and named it after his son. When we wander away from God we begin to set new types of priorities to fill the bottomless void in our lives. No matter the house you live in, the security system you own, the valuable materialistic items you have that void can never be filled or quenched. Cain tried to inaugurate an artificial paradise to compensate for the real one he lost in the presence of God.
Lastly, we can move our family away from God by ignoring God in our family. In Genesis 4:18-22 “Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methusheal, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.” Here we see after Enoch three generations who accomplished nothing noteworthy. Each built a family without God. We see a further disconnect as we go down from each generation. We see the wrong priorities of Lamech as he practices polygamy. We see Jabal as the father of those in the wilderness tending livestock. Jubal was the father of music and Tubal-Cain father of craftsmen. There is nothing wrong with tending livestock, music, and forging tools if God is not omitted. Without God, in our lives, all our accomplishments have no value. God’s blessing and grace give a fruitful meaning to our lives. The further we move away from God it will have a cascading effect on our kids and in turn affect all our future generations. This passage gives us a warning of what may happen if we flee from the presence of God. Not only will it place a big void in our lives but will drive future generations away from God.
Lord help us to seek you in all that we do. Forgive us, Lord of our wrongdoing. Help us to walk our lives in your presence and bless us with Your Grace. Amen
Thought of the day
“If you have God’s presence, you have favor. One minute of God’s presence can accomplish more than 20 years of your striving.” – Heidi Baker
Mr. Roshan Varughese
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, NY