Principles Related to Cain’s Sentence to the Land of Nod
We read in 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.”
After Adam and Eve had been banished from the Garden of Eden, where they had lived in God’s immediate presence before they sinned and were cast out of the Garden, it seems that even after their banishment there was a place outside of the Garden where God’s worship was centered and His presence was particularly made known. We don’t know why God put a mark upon Cain and threatened seven-fold vengeance upon anyone who killed him instead of having him killed (as He decreed for murderers afterwards in Genesis 9:6). It is possible that God saw that for Cain to continue to live away from His presence, with his guilty conscience, and separated from his profession of agriculture was ultimately worse for Cain than immediate death. The Judge of all the earth always does right. Therefore, whatever the reason or reasons for it, we can be assured that God’s decision here wasn’t unrighteous- even though it would be unrighteous for human authorities, who don’t see what God sees, to not kill a convicted murderer. The fact that life and death are in God’s hands actually means that it is sin for people to not kill someone when they’ve been duly convicted of murder. Many have things totally backwards, promoting the lie that a woman has a right to kill her baby while trying to claim that the Government doesn’t have the right to kill a duly convicted murderer.
The place where Cain was banished to, the land of Nod, means the land of wandering. The main point is that Cain now lived as a vagabond on the earth (reference the question answered a few months ago regarding the first family, on the Eternal Evangelism site, to see how the population of the earth was considerably high at this point).
Two definitions which Merriam-Webster gives cites regarding the word vagabond are:
“A person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home.”
And “Of, relating to, or characteristic of a wanderer.”
Anyone who is separated from society or the group that had been their familiar company is in a sense dwelling in the land of Nod. The same can be said of anyone who has been separated from what had been their fixed dwelling place (or someone who perhaps never had one at all) and remains without a fixed dwelling place.
One obvious lesson relating to Cain’s sentence to the land of Nod is that criminals should not be shielded from the consequences of their actions. Those who protest deporting illegal invaders, because this might separate them from their families, they justify the wicked and instead place blame on those who would do the right thing. Blame the invaders for getting separated from their families. Besides, maybe their families can and should go back with them to the country they came from if they all want to be together.
Another related lesson here is that people who have chosen a sinful course should not be relieved of the consequences which their sin has brought upon them as they continue in their sin. We see a great illustration of God forgiving someone and receiving them into His grace in the story of the Prodigal Son. Yet the Prodigal son ceased to be a prodigal when he turned from his evil way and came back to his father with a broken and a contrite heart, willing now to serve his father on the father’s terms. When the Prodigal Son was in the far country, it was proper that he should come to want like he did. The father did not go there and bail him out while he was unrepentant. That would only have enabled his prodigal son in his sin and seem to justify his decision to leave his father’s house and waste his substance in the pursuit of sin. It would not have helped to bring him to his senses to persuade that it was an evil thing and bitter for him to have left his father’s house and wasted his substance in sin. It would have been no more appropriate to do that than it would have been for the contemporaries of Cain to have sought him out in the land of Nod and let him be in society’s good graces after he had hatefully killed his brother like he did.
None of this is saying that we shouldn’t help someone who we see in immediate distress, but people should not be delivered from just punishment related to crimes which they’ve duly been convicted of and they should not be aided in ways which are known to enable a sinful lifestyle nor bring them out of holes they’ve dug for themselves without accountability.
2 Thessalonians 3:5-12: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought (nothing); but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
Though many now would claim otherwise, God’s true and righteous verdict is that this counsel does not oppose what is commanded in the very next verse.
2 Thessalonians 3:13: “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
Another principle which we will look at related to Cain’s sentence in the Land of Nod is that the Land of Nod is not only experienced in principle by the wicked. It can be experienced by anyone as a consequence of living in a fallen world and for reasons which we can’t explain- just like sickness, pain, and a multitude of other troubles can be. Moreover, the true God even sentences the righteous to the Land of Nod in their righteousness sometimes.
Matthew 3:16-17: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway (immediately) out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
(Immediately afterwards) Matthew 4:1: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
Sometimes, the righteous must go to the Land of Nod (in principle) because people have sent them there in opposition to their righteousness. Think of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brethren. And then later in another way, Joseph being sent to prison through the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife and the injustice of Potiphar in giving heed to her. Think of the Apostle John being banished to the isle of Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 1:9). This was likely by the Roman Emperor Domitian who had a temple built in his honor at Ephesus where John likely was. John surely would have denounced honoring a man as a god like this.
Being figuratively sent to the Land of Nod for righteousness somehow, for some reason, is something which everyone who would be faithful to the Lord and do what is right in His eyes must risk in order to do so. Think also of Moses having to flee after slaying an Egyptian in defense of an Israelite (something which some foolish people call murder; it wasn’t murder- it was defending an oppressed person in immediate danger from an oppressor).
Hebrews 11:24-26: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
Yet many are held back or turn back from being a partaker of Christ because they shrink back when they perceive that their life will, or at least might, take on the characteristics of a wanderer if they exercise faith in Christ appropriately and walk before Him in order to do what His Word requires of them. Their compromise might be in relation to their church, their family (very common), their job, or in some other matter where their perceived security , physical comfort, and perception of being an “insider” is at stake.
The Apostle Paul perceived that the compromise with sin, acceptance of false doctrine, ungodly factions, and overall spiritual decline at the Church of Corinth had a lot to do with the Corinthians’ complacency related to their feeling of being insiders in their own little world and their attachment to their insider status to the point where they weren’t taking the risks that they needed to in order to stand for truth and do what is right in God’s eyes.
Paul thus told them in 1 Corinthians 4:7-16: “ For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted (beaten), and have no certain dwelling-place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”
How much the Land of Nod will need to be figuratively dwelt in, in an individual’s life who is faithful to the Lord, will vary (read all of Hebrews chapter 11 to see that illustrated so clearly). Outcomes vary in a world that is fallen, crooked, unpredictable, and impossible to fully understand from a human perspective. Yet the principles for righteousness in God’s eyes will be the criteria on Judgment Day- and they do not change. Don’t think that the end results of righteousness and wickedness in God’s eyes will change- even though the wicked may escape the temporal punishment in this life which is fitting that they should receive; and even though the righteous sometimes suffer in this life in ways which do not seem fitting for them and which it seems more fitting that the wicked should suffer. God is still on His throne. Don’t think that righteousness isn’t worth it or that wickedness is ultimately profitable.
Proverbs 11:21: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”
Proverbs 24:15-20: “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again (this isn’t talking about falling into sin; this is talking about being cast down in terms of earthly circumstances): but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked: For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.”
The last principle that we will look at related to Cain’s sentence to the land of Nod is rebuke of support for Zionism. Zionism is of course the concept that the Jewish people have an unconditional right to a homeland in the land which was formerly known as Canaan. Zionism is a Jewish myth, yet most professing Christians who claim the Bible as their ultimate authority have fallen for it.
Abel’s heart of surrender and unconditional obedience to God made his sacrifice and his works righteous and acceptable to God. The self-imposed conditions which Cain put on how he would serve the Lord made him wicked and made his sacrifice unacceptable to God. Since Cain wouldn’t let go of his conditions nor admit that he had been in the wrong, he eventually killed Abel, whose testimony and counsel were a rebuke to his wicked attitude. This is the very reason that the Jewish leaders had Christ crucified, whom Cain and Abel are a striking foreshadow of.
Jesus told His natural brothers in John 7:7: “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” Jesus only preached in Israel as a man, so this is particularly talking about the Jewish world.
God warned the Jews over and over in the Hebrew Scriptures that they did not have an unconditional right to Canaan. He warned them they’d be cast out if they were not obedient to Him. They were cast into exile once in Babylon for seventy years to drive that point home. The Jews as a people still didn’t learn, they rejected their Messiah who rebuked them for their evil works, and they were dispersed among the nations in a judgment which the Messiah said would happen. He also warned this time (in Matthew chapter 23) that He would forsake them until they said concerning Him “Blessed is He that shall come in the name of the Lord.”
The warning from Hosea 9:17, which stemmed ultimately from several admonitions and warnings from the Law of Moses, came to be a reality with the Jews. “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”
How did they get back into the land then in 1948? Not by God. Who did the lie of Zionism start with? The very same crowd which has upheld the decision of their ancestors to reject Jesus as the Messiah and crucify Him instead.
And yet, support of Israel now is the norm among professing Christians- even and especially the ones who claim that the Bible is their ultimate authority. These essentially contend with God by opposing the verdict which He has laid down regarding the Jews and their rejection of Jesus Christ as a nation.
Can you imagine a contingent in Genesis seeking to restore Cain from the Land of Nod to the land he had been banished from? Talk about professing to love Jesus while denying Him before men! It is hard to think of a more blatant example than siding with His enemies than by promoting Zionism and blessing the Jewish people in their continued rejection of Jesus Christ. Never trust a pastor, preacher, Bible teacher, etc. who promotes Zionism. It is evidence of insufficient Bible study or dishonest Bible study and/or twisted principles somehow (probably through bad learning at a Bible college) infiltrating and corrupting one’s Bible study. Zionist promoters are a broken compass and a Zionist could not be a reliable shepherd of Christ. You can’t logically believe otherwise without also claiming that a theoretical contingent to restore Cain would have been a righteous contingent.
And by the way: It is an amazing thing that opposition to Israel in America now tends to come from another group which is off in ways that are too numerous to count. The ideological Left. Yet a broken clock is right twice a day.
It is chief evidence that the world has gone crazy, and that there is a devil deceiving mankind, that the vast majority of the people whom the Messiah came through continue in the rejection and hate of Him perpetrated by their ancestors. And then the group of people who claim to be His followers and profess to love him and live only by His Word largely support that group of those who reject the Messiah- to the point of believing that His judgment upon them should be reversed though they are unrepentant in their rejection and hatred of Him.
And wait for this: The extreme Left even has a strange sympathy for Islam, even though it is officially opposed to the things which the Left sees as essential for progress- and is even more iron-fisted (in terms of Government and political opposition) towards these things than a Government heavily influenced by Christianity would be in this age. This contradiction is inexplicable. The world is insane.
By the true God’s estimation, and this is proven in Israel today by how it actually operates, modern Israel is actually very compatible with the values of the ideological Left- in spite of the fact that the ideological Left tends to denounce modern Israel.
Revelation 11:7-8: “And when they (the two witnesses spoken of in the previous verses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”
It would be refreshing if more people were at least consistent in aligning their own stances on matters related to moral and spiritual issues. Yet Christendom and the ideological Left are both plagued by self-contradiction in their own ways (each in many ways).
Acts 12:1-3: “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the (Christian) church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword (this is talking about the sons of Zebedee). And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)”
This is the spirit of the modern nation of Israel too. It has not changed from what was just read.
If you want to support modern Israel, then admit you’re against Christ and against whoever serves Him faithfully. If you want to openly oppose Christ and His faithful servants, then support modern Israel since they are the standard and prototype of that. Be a faithful Bible believing Christian. Oppose Zionism in that context. That, and only that, is truly and fully turning against what modern Israel stands for. And you can do that if you’re ethnically Jewish too. The earliest Christians were Jews under the wrath of the Jewish leadership of their country.
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]