WHAT DID IT GET THEM IN THE END?
Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived…. Genesis 4:16-17
Cain was ambitious and after the murder of his brother, went on to accomplish some noteworthy things. His achievements looked impressive, I’m sure, to those who lived in his times. Cain never turned back to God. He settled in Nod and built his own city. That earned him fame among his people. Ironically, we don’t remember Cain for his city but for his sin.
Sin does not always appear sleazy. Cain’s descendants were civilized. They were craftsmen, even musicians. But despite the skills, they were spiritually like their father. They were restless and no amount of achievement could appease it.
Eventually, their line of descendants included Lamech. He became the first bigamist. He dominated his wives, even with poetry. He told them, in verse form, that they should live in fear of him because he was a murderer. He used his murderous reputation as a means of subjugating them.
He also mocked God. God had said that anyone who shed the blood of Cain would be avenged seven times. Lamech boasted that he did not need God’s protection. He would take revenge, not just seven times, but seventy seven times.
We live in a world that celebrates great achievers. Inventors, entrepreneurs, intellectuals. We wrongly believe that education counteracts the rise of evil. But was any civilization more educated than WWII Germany? Andrew DelBanco, a Columbia University professor, wrote a book called The Death of Satan. He responds to our modern culture that seeks to find an explanation for atrocities like the Columbine Massacre. “A gulf has opened in our culture between the visibility of evil and the intellectual resources to cope with it.”
In the end, educated or uneducated, rich or poor, black or white, the only thing that matters is what we do with Jesus. What will it profit a man if he changes the world with his invention but ends up in hell! Cain speaks to us from beyond the grave.
Of whom do I fear? Of whom would I feel inferior? I fear only You and have made my peace with God through Your great love and mercy. Oh Lord, let my faith live beyond my life – in the lives of my descendants! Amen