Departing from the Lord


“And Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!
“Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me.”
So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.”  And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, lest anyone finding him should slay him.
Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden,”
    Genesis 4:13-16.

When the Lord told Cain how he could be delivered from depression he did not listen.  When we do not heed the Lord, it will usually result in our falling even further into sin, just as it did with Cain.  Cain still could have turned to the Lord, humbled himself, and repented, and he would have received help.  The Lord warned him that he had to master the sin, but he continued down the path of letting his sin master him.

It is interesting that, even then, Cain understood the law of sowing and reaping, which Paul explained in Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”  He knew that because he had murdered his brother, he was in danger of being murdered himself.  This is a law that is as sure as the law of gravity.  Therefore, if we want to receive grace, we should learn to sow grace every chance that we get.  If we want to receive mercy, we should learn to sow mercy every chance we get.  If we do good, we will reap good.  If we do evil, we will reap the same.

When reading about Cain’s fear of being murdered, one might think, “Who is going to murder him?”  Adam and Eve lived nearly one thousand years.  They did begin to fulfill their commission to multiply and fill the earth, having many other sons and daughters.  Obviously, there was already a population on the earth by the time Cain slew Abel.  They were obviously close relatives to Cain, but he was still afraid of them. He had slain his own brother, so he knew that a brother could slay him.  This was accurate enough, because all men ultimately derive their name from the same family, but that has never kept them from attacking one another.

Even so, the Lord had mercy on Cain.  He gave him a mark that would serve to protect him.  Throughout the history of God’s dealings with mankind, He has been quick to show unmerited grace and mercy to us.  His grace and mercy is even enough for Him to negate the law of sowing and reaping.  Throughout the Scriptures, we have many examples of the Lord causing crop failures from the evil seeds men have sown.  However, we also have examples of swift judgment for those who have hardened their hearts and presumed upon His grace and mercy.

The worst result of Cain’s sin of murdering his brother was that he “went out from the presence of the Lord.”  When fighting occurs between brethren in churches, or between churches, this is often the ultimate result.  Many will end up actually departing from the Lord.  That is why from the very beginning, one of the enemy’s primary strategies has been to get brothers to fight with each other.  He is called “the accuser of our brethren” (see Revelation 12:10), because one of his most effective weapons against us is to get us accusing one another.

Cain somehow thought that Abel was the reason for his rejection.  The rejection of Cain’s offering had nothing to do with Abel’s offering.  The answer to Cain’s problem had nothing to do with Abel, but with himself.  However, from the beginning, blaming someone else for our own problems has been one of the primary deceptions that has kept men from the grace of God.  It has also led to the most destructive wars in history, and it has led to the most destructive wars between churches in history.

First, the enemy will try to get us to be jealous of others.  Then he will get us to accuse them of being the reason for our own problems.  That is why nations that are having serious difficulties become so dangerous.  It often seems much easier to blame someone else and attack them instead of dealing with our own problems.  People will tend to rally around us if we can portray a common enemy that is causing our problems.  Churches and people can become dangerous when they start having serious problems. I f you see them starting to attack and blame others, it is time to depart.  We must not continue to get caught in this trap of the enemy, which is the seemingly cheap escape from dealing with our own shortcomings.  It will lead us to needlessly wounding others.  Even worse than that, it will also lead us to “departing from the presence of the Lord.”


~ Pastor Rick Joyner

Rick JoynerPastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.

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