Grace without the Law

cain and abel 2

The story of Cain killing his brother, Abel, gives a second glimpse into the loving nature of God called grace.
Grace had already made a previous appearance in Eden.
It was God’s grace that kept mankind from taking from the tree of life and living eternally in a condemned condition.

Years later Cain kills his brother and God pronounces judgment – “Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.” Gen 4:11-12

Is this punishment too harsh for the crime committed?
Remember there is no law and years later the punishment will be greater.
If someone strikes and kills another person with a piece of iron, it is murder, and the murderer must be executed. Num 35:16

That is not the case with Cain. Despite the lack of a death penalty, Cain is still concerned that capital punishment will be carried out on him by someone.
Cain replied to the Lord, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!” Gen 4:13
At the time of his crime the only “someone’s” around were kin to him – other brothers, sisters, and perhaps even nieces and nephews.

Now you’ll see God’s grace.
The Lord replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. Gen 4:14-15
God did not excuse what Cain had done but gives him the opportunity to repent and seek forgiveness.

God’s grace existed before the written Law existed.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

You have the same opportunity, as Cain, to repent and seek forgiveness. Though I cannot be certain, it doesn’t look like he ever repented or sought God. His family became cursed and their lifestyle continued in a sinful decline.
Cain is only mentioned in Genesis chapter 4, and one verse each in Hebrews, First John and Jude.

Jude talks about people living immorally, despising authority, and mocking the supernatural. These people are like unthinking animals – doing whatever their instincts lead them to do.
They follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Jude 11

Certainly you can see people like this. They live by instincts. The secular world says it this way – if it feels good, do it!


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