Wanting it All
Genesis 4:13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.”
Cain had killed his brother Abel and God had now declared the punishment. He would have to leave the place where he had been and the land would no longer respond in the way that it had. Instead of showing repentance for what he had done, Cain is dismayed over his punishment. He doesn’t ask for forgiveness, but for leniency. The punishment was to leave God’s presence and to have God’s face hidden from him. Cain had been enjoying all the benefits of having God’s face shine upon him. He was enjoying the holy love relationship found in the Trinity, and the perfection of the garden which provided for all of his needs. Cain wanted it all. He wanted to have his own way with his brother, but he still wanted the benefits of God’s presence. His sense of misery came from losing that which he enjoyed.
Evidently wanting to have it all has been a normal posture for humanity. We find this self-centered attitude right here in the first family and before we cast judgement too quickly, we may just find ourselves in the same place, not necessarily sorry for what we have done, but for what we have lost. We want to have everything that God has to offer without living the life that God desires from us.
Wanting to have it all comes from focusing on ourselves alone. We are human when we are in a right relationship with God and the face of God is reflected in us. For God’s face to be hidden means that the image of God is no longer visible and reflects the lost place in which Cain found himself. Separation from God is the result of sin, and here there is no fulness of life. To truly have it all we must love God and love others. No longer can self be in the central place in our lives. When we put others before our selves we remain in that face to face relationship with God and God’s desires become our desires. Our sacrifices are pleasing and acceptable before God and we do no harm.
We can’t live in sin and expect to receive blessings from God. It simply doesn’t work that way. Wanting it all and having it all, is only possible in Christ.
Lord, thank you for the joys in life through you. Amen.