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Genesis 4:8 ESV

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Cain did not master the sin that was crouching at his door. Instead, Cain indulged his sinful nature and murdered his brother.

Genesis 4:9 ESV

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Just as when Cain’s parents sinned, God met with Cain after the sin was committed. Also, as with his parents, God asked Cain questions He already knew the answer to. He was hoping that Cain would be repentant. Instead, Cain was flippant.

Genesis 4:10-12 ESV

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Cain was cursed, but not by God. The Lord told Cain he was cursed from the ground, which would no longer yield to Cain its strength. Instead of being a farmer, Cain was now forced to be a nomad.

Genesis 4:13-14 ESV

Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

Cain steadfastly refused to take responsibility for his actions. God did not curse him, but Cain suffered the consequences of murdering his brother: He was now a fugitive. Cain blamed God for the curse, accused God of driving him away from His presence, and complained that he would suffer the same fate as his brother, Abel.

The fact was that he was a fugitive because of what he had done, not anything God did to him. Cain said that the Lord was driving him away, but instead God came and visited Cain after he sinned. Cain expected to be punished soon, but the Lord showed him mercy instead.

Genesis 4:15-16 ESV

Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

God protected Cain, but Cain still rejected the Lord. God did not drive Cain away, but Cain went away from the presence of the Lord.

God is good and loving, slow to anger and abounding in mercy, but humans (like Cain) often reject Him anyway because they want to live in their sin. Jesus said, And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil (John 3:19, ESV).

God isn’t hiding from you. Are you hiding from God?