|Genesis 4:10-16 |
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."
15 And the LORD said to him, "Not so, if anyone slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
16 So Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
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.)