Watching the “news” is something that gives a peek into the corporate mind of man, and all of his divisions and distinctions. It can be a fine line, walking the fence between being aware of the goings-on of the world, and being sucked into it.
One of the things heard frequently these days, is “REPARATIONS”. Someone, somewhere in times past was wronged, and someone here and now, must pay for those wrongs. I don’t care about the issue as it pertains to politics. But it is a spiritually addressed in the scriptures. I do know that someone payed for all of my wrongs, and therefore, I have no place to turn about and demand my pound of flesh for the offences of others:
[Mat 18:21-35 KJV] 21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
The first five chapters of the book of genesis contain a picture that clearly describes this course, as opposed to the truth, which is that all have sinned, all have come up short of the measure and standard set fort by God, in Christ Jesus, and all may be summarily forgiven and set at rights with the Father, by faith in this truth. This picture reveals the way out of the fallen human condition, as well as the critically dangerous path of ignoring the truth, and falling into the self destruction of humanity.
From the beginning, when mankind fell, the Lord spoke by promise, that a singular savior would come, one seed of the woman who would destroy the works of the Devil, and release the fallen race from the pains of death. Also, the Lord plainly revealed that man’s efforts at self redemption, and the redemption of the world around him, would fail. It was revealed that “cursed is the ground for your sake”:
[Gen 3:17-19 KJV] 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.
In Cain and Able, we see two human beings who are as close genetically as it is possible for any two humans beings to be. But in character and nature, they were as far apart as it is possible to be. The apostle John wrote of Cain, how that Cain was “of that wicked one” and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because “his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous”. Cain did not regard the promise of a savior, nor did he regard the curse, because Cain took a portion of the result of his own toil and sweat as a tiller of the ground, and presumed to offer it as a burnt offering to the Lord. Abel, on the other hand, believed the things the Lord said. He took of the firstlings (first born) of his flock and also made sacrifice. The Lord had no regard for Cain’s offering, while Abel’s was accepted. Cain was angry. The Lord did not condemn him, but rather said to him, “if you do well, will you not be accepted?”. Cain chose to disregard this, and decided rather than to clean up his own act, he would kill his brother, when his brother had nothing whatsoever to do with what had transpired between Cain and the Lord. Why? Because Cain was of that wicked one. It was impossible therefore, that the seed of promise should be named in Cain. The promise was in faithful Abel. But can the promise of God be nullified? Even by the death of the one in whom the promise is named? No. It is written that the Lord gave the woman “another seed” to take the place of Abel, whom Cain slew. The seed of promise died in Abel, but was raised again in Seth. This is the first indication of the fact that the savior would die, and that God would raise Him again from the dead. And the scriptures now make a very clear distinction and separation in the course of humanity, as having sprung from Adam. This distinction would later be written with these words: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. And so, Genesis 5 begins by declaring the generations of Adam going forward:
[Gen 5:1-5 KJV] 1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: 4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: 5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
You will notice that no mention is made of Cain. The account of those who would live in God, having sprung from Adam, would be reckoned in Seth, the figurative man of resurrection. Both righteousness and life eternal come by Jesus Christ, and by faith in Him. That is the message. And what of Cain? He is driven from the presence of God, to a land called Nod, which means “to wander without purpose”. Cain makes the observation that he is now a fugitive and a vagabond, and that “everyone who finds me will kill me”. This is a curious statement. How many times can one be killed? Cain is not speaking only of himself, but in terms of his generations. So, lest vengeance be taken upon Cain and his generations, a mark was set upon him. Not so much to preserve Cain, but rather, for the sake of those who can see the mark, that they do not take matters of retribution into their own hands. For without exception, vengeance, retribution, pay-back, reparation, what ever you want to call it, these belong to God. They are His sole territory, and He says so. No one who has tasted of redemption, has any notion in him or her, of singling out others for pay back. The Apostle John, in his epistles, writes of this exhaustively. If you hate your brother, you are a murderer and God is not in you. The mark is there to see. It, like many marks in nature, say “move on, don’t touch me”. The mark was immediately set. It is revealed in Cain’s offspring, who became the movers and shakers of society. The burning desire in someone to rule and reign over the affairs of humanity, and to direct it’s course, has much to do with the mark. All of these things are written there in the opening chapters of Genesis. But it boils down to this; Cain’s line, in a vicious death spiral of vengeance multiplied, self destructs, and finds no place of mention in any of them who spring from Adam, and live. All of the living are reckoned in Seth, the man of resurrection.
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?