The curse is growing, extending and further relationships are being infected.
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
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 and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear.14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain 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.
Firstly, it was the parents – Adam and Eve who disobeyed God and now a new generation is created. Would they be different? Would they share in the original joy of perfectly knowing and trusting their Father God? The answer comes ‘in the course of time’ as one brother only offers ‘some fruits’ from his labour with the soil whilst his brother brings the ‘fat portions’ from the best of his flocks when worshipping God. Cain responds in anger to God’s unfavourable response to his ‘worship’ and his anger grows and the fruit of that anger results in the murder of his brother Abel.
The curse now spreads and Cain is driven from the land and becomes a ‘restless wanderer’ the very opposite of where he was meant to be – living under God’s rule in God’s place. Cain is fearful that this punishment is more than he can bear afraid that if he is found he will be killed. And then we witness God’s grace once again as the curse is restrained as God lovingly ‘marks’ Cain to protect him against being killed – against the very thing he has just done to his own brother.
Abel’s blood cries out to God from the ground. In this we are reminded of another brother – the perfect brother in Jesus whose blood will be shed and cry out from the ground (Forgive them Father….) This brother can positively answer the rhetorical question ‘am I my brother’s keeper?’ But the shedding of this blood will reverse the curse for good. This brother will remove it and in its place will be joy experienced by all who will put their trust in this curse reversal work of Jesus’ death on the cross.
Head: Are their examples of God’s mercy breaking into your story even when you turn your back on Him on any given day?
Heart: Is there anger in your heart towards any fellow Christian that needs to be dealt with before it grows?
Hands: what needs to changewhen it comes to our sacrificial worship so that we are more like Abel and less like Cain?
Prayer: Father we see the curse being lived out every day in the world around us and even close to home in our inner lives and the way they are lived out. We thank you for your mercy demonstrated in this account and your greatest mercy in the murder of Jesus which ultimately allowed us to come home to you to live in your place under your rule and to experience your joy.
A song to listen to: Shine into our Night
Tim Hewlett – Living Church Creek Road
These Grow Dailys were originally posted as part of the Bible in 10 series in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.