Adam and Eve’s first son Cain murders their younger son Abel. God had given him the opportunity to change, but instead it just made him angry. And he responded with rage and violence. But afterwards, God casts him into exile and Cain fears that someone will kill him. “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him” (Gen. 4:15 ESV). God says vengeance shall be taken. It shall be. Future tense. It is a promise.
Unfortunately, I got most of my theology on the mark of Cain from scary movies. I thought it was a mark for a serial killer or some other scary guy. Or girl. I don’t want to be sexist. There’s plenty of scary girls out there. But back to the mark of Cain. I always thought it was something really bad. Pointing out the bad guy. Labeling him as evil. But it’s actually something completely different. It is God’s promise of protection for Cain. It’s not a branding of him as a sinner; it’s branding him still as a son, in spite of his sin. It’s a dad saying even though he has made mistakes, he is still mine, and if you mess with him, you mess with me.
Even in our time of discipline, God still has good planned for us. Even when He lets us experience the result of our sin, He desires our protection. God the judge is never separate from God the lover. He is always both. And I will take the mark of His protection any day.
7 thoughts on “Promises, Pt. 2”
Not many thoughts except that I agree with everything you said 🙂 It is pretty jacked up how movies really mess with Biblical meanings and intent.
God’s love in incredible!! I often ask Him why He still loves me and why He puts up with me; He just smiles.
Awesome! Really the right thing to read on this day. I had never read that scripture that way. Thanks!
Wow, that is an awesome look at it. I never actually thought of it as that. So we should also walk around, knowing where we came from, but knowing that we have an amazingly awesome Daddy, and He has placed His mark on us, for we were all called.
By the way, think about coming out to South Africa. You will be amazed at the respose you will receive, and I just think it would be awesome. Third Day is coming out, so why not you? Come on, we need some awesome true, to the point, lyrics.
God bless you Todd! In all your ways acknowledge Him.
From one worshiper to another, peace be with you my brother!
Awesome thought of God as lover as well as judge. Jeremiah 32:40-41 says: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” Whatever is going on in our lives, whether it is tragedy or blessing, God is committed to working for our good and He’s enjoying it. Many times my definition of “good” and God’s are very different, and sometimes God’s good for me doesn’t feel very good. But His purpose is to reduce us from our self-absorbed ways and release us to love. I’ll take his protection any day too!
I had been thinking about something similar to this these past few days. Sometimes I get so tired because I feel as if I am always having to discipline my kids because they are always disobeying me or fighting. I just wish that they would be good for a few hours or so and not just when they go to sleep! Even when it has been a rough day, they are mine and I still love them more than anything and there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do to protect them or take care of them. Then I realized that I am still accountable to my Heavenly Father and I don’t always do what He wants me to either. I am more conscious of it and I do try to always do what is right and pleasing to God, but I know that I don’t. This makes me ever more grateful knowing that I belong to Him who can, and will, still love and protect me even when I’m disobedient.
God has been teaching me about this, also. Here is part of a blog I just wrote this past week:
“Heb 12:1-11 ESV
(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
(2) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(3) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(4) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
(5) And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
(6) For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
(7) It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
(8) If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
(9) Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
(10) For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
(11) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Discipline in Hebrews is, of course, of Hebrew origin. One of the words it can be translated to, according to blueletterbible.com, is “instruction.” And instruction can be called “lessons.”
Lessons have a number of different purposes, including to bring a person to have a new idea, to behave a different way, and/or have their senses opened in a way they have never been opened before.
Sometimes a lesson is not new, but is continued because the person has not acquired the new idea, the different behavior, or have their senses opened as never before. Sometimes the person finally catches on, at least temporarily, and finally the idea is held in a new way in their mind, the desired behavior finds action, and/or the dulled senses are awakened.
I am someone who can take a long, long time to learn a lesson. It is amazing the Lord doesn’t give up on me. He continually spends time taking me through various situations, letting me feel pain when I don’t acquire the new information as I should. I can get very, very frustrated , as well as discouraged, but He is faithful to bring encouragement at the right time!”
God does not discipline us to cast us away from Himself, rather, to bring us closer to Him and make us more like Jesus! His love is always being showered upon us, even when we don’t recognize it as “love.” His love doesn’t always produce fluffy, happy feelings, but it can ALWAYS be counted upon! We can ALWAYS trust He is working for our good!