Daily Word

Cain’s consequences | Genesis 4:9-15

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 Then He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a wanderer and a drifter on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to endure! 14 Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and I will be hidden from Your face, and I will be a wanderer and a drifter on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him seven times as much.” And the Lord placed a mark on Cain, so that no one finding him would kill him.

Genesis 4:9-15 (NASB)

More questions

As in the past with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:8-13) and yesterday with Cain (v6), the Lord again asks questions. “Where is Abel your brother?” Certainly God knows the answer; His next question (v10) indicates such. As we shared when talking about The Lord asking Adam and Eve about their sin, God asks not for His own benefit, but to cause reflection and introspection in the sinner, leading to repentance.

Disrespecting the Lord

You may have to read Cain’s reply a few times to see this clearly. Not only does Cain lie to the Lord, he has the gall to render to the Lord a sarcastic reply! Where is reverence? Remember when we studied Gen 4:3-7 we were wondering why Cain’s sacrifice was not regarded? Now it’s clear in his response to the Lord’s conviction.

Cain’s consequences

Make no mistake, there are consequences for sin. There is also judgment. Christ took our judgment but we still suffer consequences. For Cain, he would not receive any blessing from his  farming. Mankind has already received the sin consequence of being kicked out of Eden and having to sweat and work hard. Cain’s consequence seems to extend Adam’s. On top of that, he’ll be a wanderer with no home.

Cain doesn’t repent. He only wallows in self–pity and worries about himself – even accusing the Lord of being too harsh!

Mark of grace

Even so, The Lord shows Cain grace and protection. He doesn’t snuff him out (as maybe we think He should have). What is this mark and why 7x the vengeance, we can only guess. But certainly the mark was a mark of grace. 


  • What question is the Lord asking you today, even right now? Take time to listen and respond. Is there some sin to confess? Is there a good work He has planned for you that He wants you to do (Eph 2:10)?
  • Thank the Lord that He is gentle with our sin, but firm and consistent. Thank Jesus that He took the judgment, the penalty, for our sin.
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