Read Genesis 4:9-16. Why does God ask the question “Where is Abel your brother?” What is the connection between Cain’s sin and of his becoming “a fugitive and a vagabond … on the earth” (Genesis 4:12, NKJV)?
God’s question to Cain echoes His question to Adam in Eden: “Where are you?” This echo suggests the link between the sin in Eden and this sin now: the latter sin (Cain’s) was the result of the former one (Adam’s).
Cain, though, will not acknowledge his sin; he denies it, something that Adam didn’t do, even though he tried to put the blame elsewhere. Cain, in contrast, openly defies God, who doesn’t waste any time confronting Cain with his crime. When God asks the third question, “What have you done?” He does not even wait for an answer. He reminds Cain that He knows everything, for the voice of Abel’s blood has reached Him from the ground (Genesis 4:10), an image that signifies that God knows about the murder and will respond to it. Abel is in the ground, a direct link back to the Fall and to what the Lord has said would happen to Adam (see Genesis 3:19).
Read Genesis 4:14. What is the significance of Cain’s words that “I shall be hidden from Your face” (NKJV)?
It is because Abel’s blood was poured on the ground that the ground was now cursed, again (Genesis 4:12). As a result, Cain is then condemned to become a refugee, far from God. Only when Cain heard God’s sentence does he acknowledge the significance of God’s presence; for without it, he fears for his own life. Even after Cain’s cold-blooded murder of his brother and his defiance in the face of it, the Lord still shows mercy to him, and even though “Cain went out from the presence of the LORD” (Genesis 4:16, NKJV), the Lord still provided him with some kind of protection. Exactly what that “mark” was (Genesis 4:15), we haven’t been told, but whatever it was, it came only because of God’s grace to him.
|“Hidden from Your face” (Genesis 4:14, NKJV) — what is hidden from the face of God? What a tragic situation for anyone. What is the only way that we, as sinners, can avoid that situation?|