Choices have Consequences

Genesis 4:11-15 shows us an interesting art of human behavior. It says "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” And Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”
I find this passage VERY interesting, and I have written about another element of it before- the beginning element, in fact. In this "episode", however, I want to talk about this ending element. Cain has committed murder. Does he know the word for it? Are there any human powers with laws about such things yet? Probably not. 
But Cain knows that he has done wrong. He has heard God say that He is aware of the deed. He has heard that killing his brother Abel is a choice which comes with a real judgment. And he is REALLY whiny about that judgment.
I have never liked to be "punished." Sometimes, I have been left with the feeling that whatever punishments have been levied against me are unfair or unjust. The ticket you get when others escape? The teacher calls you out for doing nothing? That sort of thing? Not that I understand Cain and his choice, but we are both human, and even way back then, it seems people did not like penalties for something they chose to do.
But what a lot of whining. The ground wont grow crops- and that is inconvenient, but it is not the only way to get food. People WILL have attitudes- they are Cain's family, and many know he killed Abel. They MIGHT take revenge. BUT WHAT DID HE EXPECT? He KILLED a family member!
This had never happened before. What is the big word? Unprecedented? Did Cain expect this to go off without a hitch? Did he expect others to let bygones be bygones? Cain sure didn't. The funny thing is that God actually set up a system to prevent this murderer from being murdered by others. More grace than Cain deserved from a human perspective, but God is bigger than any of us.
The disconnect between Cain's choice to end the life of Abel versus his whining about how hard the judgment of God is, judgment which did NOT demand his life in return, is amazing to me. Then...I remember all those times I have chosen the wrong option and faced penalty...and whined about it, too. 
Same old story. Cain, and I, could face the punishment and understand that it could be FAR worse. Or, we could accept it and trust Him to move us forward. 
I hope that you never face any sense of judgment or penalty- that God's grace wraps you completely. But...if you mess up and God allows you to face some tough repercussions, don't whine about it. Understand that God is trying to help you see, and to make a positive difference next time!

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