|Genesis 4:1-14 |
1 And Adam knew Eve as his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."
2 And she next bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD.
4 And Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat. And the LORD had respect for Abel and his offering,
5 But he did not have respect for Cain and his offering. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.1
6 And the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is to have you, and you must master it."
8 But Cain talked with Abel his brother and said, "Let us go out to the field." And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him.
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
10 And he said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground.
11 And now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand;
12 When you till the ground, it shall not yield its strength to you from this time forward; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth.
13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, you have driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from your face;2 and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will come to pass that whoever finds me will slay me."
2 I shall be hidden from your face; Everyone thinks how evil Cain was, and how they are nowhere near as bad as Cain. But look! Cain had been in the presence of God, beholding his face. Cain was much further along than almost anyone in later generations; David beheld his face. We are told to seek his face. We are promised that at the conclusion of our crucifying our sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, we will see our Lord's face appear in our hearts, in the face of Christ Jesus to give us knowledge of the glory of God. 2 Cor 4:6. But consider how far removed from God we as a people have become, at least compared to evil Cain; consider how evil we are — far more evil than Cain, who in envy over God's favor to Able, murdered his brother. Consider well how evil we, the people of the earth, have become. Now imagine how repulsive and painful we are to him when we sing to him, pray to him, praise him, or even talk about him — all without first having been changed by his offer to teach us to deny lusts of the world and ungodliness; to teach us how to live soberly, godly, and righteously in this present world; to redeem us from all iniquity and purify us for himself that we will have a zeal for good works directed and energized by him, Tit 2:11-14; — including how to worship, pray, and praise him properly. (See Penington's writing on true prayer and worship.)