Genesis 4:16 (ESV)
16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Cain’s situation was so sad. While we know the mistakes were his own, we can certainly identify with making mistakes. We have all, in some way, messed up at one time. How many times has failure tempted us, towards the land of Nod?
I remember Bishop Livingston preaching about this years ago. Nod means wandering, and that’s where Cain chose to settle. It says it’s easy of Eden, which means pleasure. When you wander from God’s presence, it places us outside of the things that cause true pleasure. There may be some moments of fun, but true lasting pleasure can only be found in The Presence of God.
The interesting thing about Cain is, he named both his son and the city he built Enoch. Enoch means dedicated. We know that name from the descendant of Seth. Dedicated is usually a good thing, if you’re dedicated to the right things.
If you’re dedicated to the wrong things, no matter how hard you work at it, it’s still not right. Normally, you could describe someone who raised a family, and built a city as successful. Success doesn’t indicate that we are where we should be. Though none of us are perfect, we should be pursuing a closer relationship with God.
This was the primary difference between Abel and Cain. Abel brought the first fruits, and Cain brought as an afterthought. It says Cain brought in the process of time. In other words, he was pursuing success more so than God.
If you allow the pursuit of success to become more important than God, you sadly may obtain what you’re pursuing. The problem is, when you’re pursuing something you tend to eliminate things that are not part of your goal. In Cain’s case, that was faith, family, and true joy.
We may not all take the drastic route Cain did to get there, but when serving God isn’t part of your focus, I’m afraid you’ll find yourself in the land of Nod. Too often, you end up building there, and raising the next generation in a place far from the influence of God.
I would encourage you today to be vigilant in this day and age. One distraction can lead you on a journey no one wants to be a part of. Whatever you do, in this day and age, please don’t Nod off.
The wonderful thing is, since Cain built Enoch, another child was born, and another city was built. Christ came, not only to rescue the Abels, but to save the Cains. It’s why we rejoice when we see Moses, David, and Paul. God can transform a killer into a Prophet, a Psalmist, and an Apostle.
Cain may have nodded, Christ did not. Psalms said, when referring to protecting His people, He doesn’t slumber or sleep. At Gethsemane, while the Disciple’s eyelids were heavy, Christ was preparing a sacrifice. All had sinned from Adam, both Cain and Abel, Christ came to save all, and I’m so thankful He didn’t leave us to wander about in our sins.