Genesis 4:16 – And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
We can learn a great deal from Cain. The story of Cain and Abel is found in Genesis 4. Cain represents the world, and he also represents our first nature, our flesh nature. By looking at the life of Cain, the way of Cain, we can understand great truths taught in the written Word of God. We can see what the world is, what the world stands for, and who the world serves. We see the vileness of our flesh, we see that our flesh does not know God, cannot comprehend God, will not receive God, does not love God.
1 John 3:12 says that Cain was of that wicked one. The wicked one is the devil. Cain was of the devil. The devil was his spiritual father. The devil is the spiritual father of all unbelievers, they cannot resist him, they work his works. In John 8:44 Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Cain murdered his brother. Cain was a liar. Cain was of the devil. God has the solution for the devil. 1 John 3:8 says For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. The Lord Jesus Christ is victorious over the devil. We are only victorious over the devil in and through Jesus Christ.
From the story of Cain and Abel, we see that the world and the believer are diametrically opposed to each other. There is the way of the world and there is the way of God. The world hates believers. Cain hated Abel. Cain murdered Abel. 1 John 3:13 says Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 4 talks about how the world and the believer can have no agreement, they have no part of each other. 1 John 4:5,6 – They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. The kingdom of darkness does not and cannot mix with the kingdom of light. 1 John 1:15 – God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. This world we are in lies in wickedness.The Bible says that when we are saved, we are in the world, but not of the world – John 17:14,15. We are strangers, pilgrims, sojourners. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come, heavenly New Jerusalem – Hebrews 11. For believers, our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ – Philippians 3:20. In Christ we sit together in heavenly places – Ephesians 2:6. The Bible says that Cain builded a city. Do you want a man made city or the city of God? Is this world your home? Do you like the world’s wells, which are empty, which hold no water, which provide no life and no hope? Or will you come to the well of Jesus Christ, whose water springs up into everlasting life, whose water never fails? How do we overcome the world? By being born again, by our faith – 1 John 5:4,5. Have faith and you will overcome anything and everything the world throws against you.
We see that Cain was characterized by selfishness. Cain cared only for himself. He did not care for his brother. The world does not care about you. You will die and the world will keep on going on. The world does not care if and when you go to hell. The world will let you slide into a Christless eternity. The world does not care for your soul. Noone who is of the world truly cares for you. Noone who is of the world truly loves you. The world’s love is completely different from God’s love. The Bible says that God is love – 1 John 4:8. God is truth. If we have not received God’s love first, we cannot love someone else. The only true love we have is when we have him in us. It is his love in and through us. An example of this is in 1 Corinthians 13 which says charity seeketh not her own. Jesus showed us this. He came to do the Father’s will, he surrendered to the Father’s will in his life – Luke 22:42. He had the true love of the Father. Furthermore, true love is self sacrificial, it is about others, not about self. 1 John 3:16 – Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us. 1 John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us. We see now that the world’s love is deceitful, it is corrupt, it works death. It is completely different to the true love that is found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Jude 11 says Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain. We see that Cain tried coming to God in his own way. Cain brought the fruit of the ground, which was the work of his hands. The works of our hands, no matter what work it is, no matter how noble it may appear, will never, and can never be accepted by God. God does not accept our self righteousness. God does not accept our own efforts. He does not accept whatever sin cursed offering we bring him. We have nothing to bring God. This is the whole point of the Lord Jesus Christ. We could not save ourselves, we are sinners, we are cursed, we are doomed without Christ. God only accepts us on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, represented by Abel’s sacrifice which God had respect unto. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me – John 14:6. But the world wants to do things their own way. Like with the Tower of Babel they want to make their own way to heaven. They don’t want to receive God’s grace and mercy by faith. The message of the cross offends them, Jesus Christ is offensive to the world. As Cain’s pride resisted God’s still small voice, so the world is too proud to receive their Saviour.
Cain did not want forgiveness. The world doesn’t want forgiveness. Cain was not interested in repentance. The world will not repent. The world does not know Jesus, the world does not receive Jesus. John 1 says that Jesus was in the world and the world knew him not. Jesus came unto his own and his own received him not. Cain did not want to repent, he did not want forgiveness, he did not want the presence of God, he was not sorry for his sin, he was only interested in avoiding the consequences of his sin. Many of us only come to God to try and wrangle something that we want from him, rather than coming to him for his mercy and forgiveness. Why do you come to God? God is not deceived, he sees straight through our selfish, lustful intentions. If you want your prayers answered, start asking according to his will. What is his will? 1 Timothy 2:4 – Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. Stop asking God for physical things that you don’t really need anyway, and that you’re better off not having, and ask him to save your soul. He will answer that prayer, he will do it, because it is according to his will. Cain, like the world, was focused on temporal, not eternal. The world does not see beyond this physical life. The world caters to our pride and our lusts. This is what the world is, it is how the world works. 1 John 2:16,17 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
We see that like Cain, the world ends in disaster. The next generation from Cain was worse, and the generation after that was even worse. In Genesis 6, God saw that all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. The imagination of man was only evil continually. It ended in the flood. The world only gets worse. The world lies in wickedness. The world is not going to get better. Our flesh does not get better. This is why we must be born again. No amount of papering over the cracks will help. Turning over a new leaf, trying harder to be a better person is a waste of time. Performance is futile. Performance will wear you out. Ye must be born again – John 3. Your flesh is not going to be overhauled, your flesh is cursed, condemned. When we are born again God births a new creature inside us which is perfect, sinless, incorruptible, born of the Spirit, born of God – 1 John 3:9. Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts by faith – Ephesians 3:17. It is not a mystic riddle. A true believer has a dual nature, an internal warfare, the flesh against the spirit, which one day will end. We will be set free forever from our flesh. Our death is victorious, we will be present with the Lord forever.
There is a lot more that can be learned from the life of Cain, the way of Cain. Consider the end of Cain. Are you going in the way of Cain? The Bible says Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. Do you want to know God, do you want his presence? Or will you end in the land of Nod, the land of waste, the place of endless wandering, the place of aimless futility, the place of eternal separation from your Creator.