Devotionals Genesis

Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

You have heard the saying … “Straight from the horse’s mouth”. As a little boy on the farm, mommy would saying things like … “Straight from the horse’s mouth”. It always confused me because by that time there were no horses on the farm. What did she mean? Where did the saying come from? Why say to me … “Straight from the horse’s mouth” when there were no horses on the farm and although I was very young, I knew horses don’t talk. As I grew up a little and gained a little “grey matter” as daddy would call it, I understood … “Straight from the horse’s mouth” meant hearing something straight the a person without it going through a second or third person first.

Now, what is God’s Word? We are told in the Bible that the Bible is the very out breathed Word of God. This means that as we read the Bible, respectfully, we are hearing “straight from the horse’s mouth”, as it were. We are not hearing through a second or third person, we are hearing directly from God. I say this because the passage we are dealing with, together with the verses we shall open up today are saturated with arguments to distort, confused and mislead people. The intention, however, is to ignore such matters. Please read:

Ge 4:15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’S presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

You will recall Cain’s sins … wrong offering, anger, depression, jealousy, murder, arrogance and lies amongst possible other sins. God judges him guilty and places harsh punishments upon him. He in turn shows lack of remorse, no repentance and appears arrogantly before God expressing that the Judge of all the world has been too harsh. He states that his punishment is too much for him to bear. Now we have the Judge’s response to Cain.

1) He is cursed. Something we cannot forget or ignore is that God’s curse fell threefold.

(a) He cursed the serpent who was acting on behalf of the enemy of God, satan. This mean satan is cursed … with the special focus being upon the Messiah who would come and destroy him (Genesis 3:15).

(b) Because of Adam’s sin, God cursed the land, resulting in him and his descendants struggling to sustain themselves.

(c) God cursed Cain.

Ge 4:10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse.

In God cursing the land it meant hard and harsh labor for Adam and his offspring but in God cursing satan and Cain, we find a relationship between the two. Hold this thought as we progress in our passage.

2) He is protected. Remember that Cain is a human being. He has a soul and even though he sinned greatly by taking a life created in the image and likeness of God … and although God’ punishment was harsh … God is gracious and merciful and responds to Cain saying

Ge 4:15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.”

God had every right to ignore Cain … yet He gave him a promise that should anyone kill him, the punishment falling on that person shall be seven times the punishment Cain received.

3) He is signed. The promise of protection was followed up with a sign. Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. The Hebrews does not imply a “mark”. Some commentators say that Cain received a physical mark from God of some sort. This however is not true. It is inaccurate. The Hebrew means “sign”. Again we don’t know what the sign is, though we could speculate. Some think the sign followed in the line of:

Jdg 6:36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

It is possible that the sign was something like this … supernatural. But then, how would we deal with … so that no one who found him would kill him? I wonder however, whether, though Cain was cursed and caste out, his future would still be part of procreating and certainly contributing towards the depravity of the pre-flood record of Genesis 6, if the sign was not something not seen yet felt. Is it perhaps that the sign was his conscience? Maybe the Holy Spirit would work in his heart even though he was cursed … even though he was fenced with a curse as was the enemy of God. Is it that God never closed the door to Cain repenting even though he would be going away from the presence of God? The reason I tend towards this possibility is that, although having been through Children’s Sunday School and Adult Bible Study as a thirteen year old, once I started working, I went away from God, though He never left me. His Spirit was active in my conscience throughout my wayward days of running and hiding and trying to ignore God until He had His way with me. Maybe this sign was God’s open door to Cain to return and repent and be found in God and not without God. Perhaps this would be his intended protection.

4) He went away from God. The following verses all mean the same thing …

Ge 4:11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground.

Ge 4:14 Today you are driving me from the land.

Ge 4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD’S presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Because God drove Cain from the land, He left the land but in leaving the land, he moved away from Yahweh’s presence. This does not mean to say God’s Spirit deserted him as I implied above. What it does mean is that the punishment placed upon him … endless wandering … would necessitate Cain forfeiting all rights to remain where Adam and Eve farmed the land and cared for animals. At the same time, God’s presence with Cain would only be in his conscience. He would endure hardship far worse than his parents received for their sin. We do not know where the Land of Nod was and it does not matter.

5) Two streams within once race. Ever since Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel, there have been two streams of people on the planet. The one following God and the other following the devil. The apostle John helps us here as his writes under inspiration:

1Jn 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.

Jesus put it like this:

Mt 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Jesus also said that “wheat” (the children of God) and “weeds” (the followers of the devil) will grow together … meaning that we shall even have the offspring of Cain in the Church, but they shall not take the small gate to life. Whatever you make of Cain, you have to grasp that his descendants are the weeds. You friend, chose life, chose Jesus and He shall give you His Spirit, not just in your conscience … but in your heart as an assurance of salvation.

Our Father, please prevent us from going out of Your presence like Cain did. Hold us firmly in your hand as we progress towards Your Glory. Amen.

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