“My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Genesis 4:13
It would hardly have been surprising if God had ended Cain’s life right then and there in the fields. But in the mercy of God, the world’s first murderer is given another chance.
If you were Cain’s friend, you might counsel him like this: “Cain, this is wonderful. God is speaking to you. He is showing you mercy. He has not cut you off. Don’t miss this opportunity. Receive His mercy and be reconciled to Him. Accept your punishment, confess your sin, and turn to Him in true repentance. This dark moment could be the turning point of your life.”
But instead of taking ownership for what he had done, and looking to God for mercy, Cain began to wallow in self-pity. “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me” (4:13-14, NIV).
God was still gracious to Cain and protected him. But Cain made a wretched choice. He went out from the presence of the Lord. He moved away from the altar. And the last thing we hear about him is that he built a city where there eventually was music and industry, culture and commerce, but no mention of God at all.
Here was a successful man who worshipped God, and yet he took a plunge to disaster. He refused God’s grace, and in the end, he moved away from God instead of toward Him.
Think about a recent failure. What kind of turning point was it for you? Was it a lost opportunity that moved you further away from God? Or did you seize it as an opportunity for repentance and reconciliation with God?