“And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.” – Genesis 4:15
Cain, out of envy, killed his brother Able. Today, we do not have to look too far to find Cain hanging around. Many times all we really need to do is look in the mirror or examine our own hearts. Every time a co-worker receives a raise or promotion, Cain stands next to us, folding his arms with us in disapproval of the decision. When we hear others praising the efforts of a friend or family member, Cain is across the room looking at us with nodding approval of our anger towards our loved ones. The Cain of our hearts must be banished and put to death.
When God discovers the sin of Cain, He did bring judgment yet does something else that many times we cannot understand. God showed him mercy. God’s mercy is sparing us from what we deserve. Here, He places some type of identifying mark on Cain signifying that he was not to be harmed by anyone. For a time, Cain was still under God’s protection. However, it wouldn’t be long before judgment would come and although Cain may have been sorry, there seems to never be repentance and therefore may never be grace.
Noah was of the line of Seth, Adam and Eve’s other son. He came through the life of Enoch, who was his great grandfather. Of Enoch, we are told that “he walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Noah walked like his great grandfather did. He was a just man, perfect in his generations and walked with God as well.
Noah found grace in the eyes of God. While mercy spares us from what we do deserve, grace gives us what we don’t deserve. Noah was not perfect and sinless and the stains of the exceedingly sinful times he lived surely touched him, but it was his faith and love for the Lord that saved him and not what he did or did not do. It was his humble and repentant heart that caused the Lord to provide grace and that grace spared him from the destruction of the flood.
We love God’s mercy, and that may spare us for a time, but grace comes from the shed blood of Jesus, and we find that grace when we believe in Him. And, when we have that grace, we have eternity in heaven.
“The gospel proclaims that the God who saved Israel from Egypt, Jonah from the fish’s belly, the psalmist from death, and the soldiers from drowning, saves all who trust Christ from sin and sin’s consequences.” – J.I. Packer