The enlightenment teaching of the Essene was known as THE WAY. This teaching became the final interpretation on the Law and the Prophets, as revealed by Yeshua Messiah. The Way also became the transitional teaching into the early church. Many of these teachings are contained within modern religious thought, many are not.
This article deals with the outcomes of Cain’s rash decisions and behavior.
The Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
God’s question is not an indictment as so many think, it is to provide Cain with the opportunity to confess. This is the third time God tries to renew Cain: first, he shuns Cain’s offering, which is to awaken in Cain spiritual, moral and ethical standards; second, he asks Cain why is he distraught and God mentions sin, but counsels that Cain can be its master and offers a helping hand; and third, he offers Cain an opportunity to confess his crime. God is a loving God and gives Cain every chance. If Cain can bring himself to confess, there is still hope that God may work with him, help him.
According to Josephus, at least a few days have passed since the murder. Cain’s guilt must be growing, the pressure increasing. God questions Cain about no longer seeing him and his brother conversing. Again, God is trying to open a door for Cain; God is subtle in His questioning. The proper response for Cain would be to finally admit what he has done. Instead, he challenges God with a question of his own. “Am I my brother’s keeper (guardian),” he hurls at God, which means, ‘Am I to keep track of him?’ This sounds like many of the excuses we make for ourselves.
Yet, Cain is the perpetrator, not the protector, and Cain knows all along that Abel lies in a field, probably hidden under some brush. How disingenuous can anyone be! With this last statement of bravado the many sins of Cain lay bare, both of commission– of attitudes, motives and actions– and omission, which includes the genuine love for God, love for his brother and a willingness to be honest with himself.
Confession proves out responsibility and provides opportunity for repentance. If the deed is not out in the open, confessed, how can anything be done to address the issue? Responsibility for improper actions becomes a repeated theme within scripture. Confession thus becomes a powerful enlightenment principle within the Way, for it initiates a positive rebuilding of the soul.
Confession allows avenues through which the spirit of God can begin to work, whether that work is known or observed, or the works are accomplished in the silent places of the soul (Unconscious Growth). Yet, within our story, and much like his parents who also tried to explain away their actions, Cain cannot really come to terms with what he has done. Nor does he believe nor understand that his actions have lead to horrific consequences.
Then God said, “What have you done? Hark, your brother’s bloods (voice of your brother’s blood) cries out to me from the ground! Therefore, you shall be more cursed than the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” Verse 12, “If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth.”
Cain has shed blood, that which represents life, and has spilt it not only in wrath, but uselessly. Abel’s blood represents the spirit of God and true life, or righteousness. Abel is the righteous remnant that now remains after the fall (see, Righteous Abel P. 2). Physical life is precious, but spiritual life is even more precious, and neither should be squandered by unrighteous actions. The story of Cain and Abel points to never cutting yourself off from righteousness by acts of wrath.
Cain is not defending himself or his family. The cause and effect, and in the rightness of things, the ground can no longer yield life back to Cain. This is the second time God has cursed the ground due to man’s actions. The first is in the garden, v. 3.17, speaking to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” God mentions ‘thorns and thistles’ and ‘in the sweat of your face’. Even though the land will still yield, disobedience will always garner more toil in the long run, and becomes yet another enlightenment lesson portrayed within the saga.
Another principle also is at work. It is the principle concerning exactitude under the Law of Cause and Effect, or the Law of Rectitude. Exactitude even unto every jot and tittle (yud or stroke within the OT), just as Jesus mentions in Matt. 5.18, must be fulfilled, and this is precisely what happens here. Cain’s livelihood, unlike Adam’s, is completely taken from him, but not for the obvious reason of wrathful punishment, as so many suspect. Adam and Eve threw away their spiritual heritage, but Cain has murdered the righteous remnant that God has sown upon the earth. The lesson is simple: do not slay the righteous remnant of the spirit within, and should you, be willing to confess (reveal) the truth so restoration can begin. Cain does none of these good things.
CAIN RUNS FROM LIFE
How is this curse to be implemented? It is true that God’s word can stand of its own authority, but it is also true that Cain is sent into a desert land, this land of Nod. This land will not yield much. Although he later settles into a more verdant area near the Euphrates, Cain seems no longer interested in the pastoral life. God’s decision in important matters such as these is always realized, both in the the spiritual world, or above, and the physical world, below. Cain has initiated serious causal actions, such that they will require much effort to rectify. Cain’s spiritually bleak nature will soon be exposed as he enters Nod. Nor will he be a nomad within that certain culture, even though destined to wander, but should be more correctly described as a fugitive (4.12).
A fugitive from whom? Nothing and no one would be pursuing him but the higher laws of God. Spiritual law always returns the soul to accountability. The Law of Accountability will leave Cain to do everything out of his own efforts. The rejection of God leaves Cain’s efforts wedded only to himself and his own judgment, but providing no spiritual enlightenment and no spiritual benefit. No one should put themselves in this condition.
Cain has designated himself as a fugitive from God, and it is Cain who made this choice. The fugitive status leaves little room but for where to run next, whether in the physical or considered spiritually. Cain will spend the rest of his life running from himself, and the next verse indicates this very reality.
Verse 13: “Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is too great to bear! Since you have banished me this day from the soil, and I must avoid Your presence and become a restless wanderer on earth—anyone who meets me may kill me!’”
By being banished from the soil, Cain’s livelihood is removed. He not only killed Abel, but he has also disrupted the wholeness of family, as well as disrupting the lineage of many sons and daughters that would issue from Abel and his wife. By murdering Abel, Cain has destroyed a portion of the family of man. Blood spilt by murder can yield no good crop. Cain’s lack of contriteness, followed by complaint of the punishment, leaves Cain with no authority to go unto God, nor to rectify himself.
As to the mark of Cain,* given so Cain will not be harmed by others– even though Cain remains in sufferance, god allows for mitigation. It will do no good to kill Cain or allow him to be killed. Cain will be allowed to live his life, but without the edification of God. Perhaps the worst curse of all, Cain will remain Cain.
*Thought to be an “X” or cross marks, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
The second curse, that he must avoid God’s presence, cements the fact that only fit for the pagan world he will discover in Nod. This is a world of uneven prospects, though not necessarily a world filled with violence or war. Population density is low. Culture will be focused on necessities, and commerce would be barter. Family groups would be well organized, but it is unlikely they could extend influence a great distance. However, smaller tribal groups would be vulnerable when encountering determined force, as we shall later see in the story of Cain.
Restless and wandering, the third curse, does not infer restless and wandering only in the physical world. Cain will remain restless in his soul, never knowing any true peace, producing a sodden and unresolved soul-nature. A restless nature often foretells the need for spiritual resolution, as many of us have discovered. However, Cain’s punishment is complete, just as his action against Abel was complete. Cain and his ancestors will bring change to the face of man. Yet, these changes will lead to hubris within his lineage, the view that a strong right arm to make way in this world will lead Cain, as well as his ancestors, into the curse of all curses.
It is hoped you have enjoyed the continuing story of Cain and the enlightened principles of the Way. Comments are welcome.