“When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.”
 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!
This is the 87th Lecture on Genesis.
Cain committed murder, yet God offered him more than just one chance to repent.
But, Cain refused to the very end.
Eventually, Cain received two curses according to justice.
The first is that ‘Even when he cultivates the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to him.’
It means that he cannot live an abundant life since the grace of God was cut off from his livelihood.
Even though God is full of love and He is the Almighty, He cannot give His grace and blessing to those who commit sin and belong to the darkness.
However, anyone who obeys the word of God and lives in the light can receive God’s protection and guidance.
This includes being able to harvest abundantly from ones livelihood.
Let me offer an example from the Bible.
In Genesis 26, we can see that Isaac moved his dwelling place to avoid famine.
Genesis 26:2-4 says, “The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.””
God wanted Isaac to move to the Promised Land that He had given to Abraham and to live there.
If he forsook the God-given land only because of famine, it would have demonstrated that he didn’t believe in the promise of God.
Isaac believed in God and obeyed the word of God.
And, amazing blessings came upon Isaac because of his obedience
Genesis 26:12-13 says, “Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy.”
Likewise, if one obeys the word of God, the ground will yield its strength to him.
In other words, God will give him amazing blessings in his livelihood.
God established the law according to this and gave it to the Israelites.
According to Leviticus 25:3-4, this is the law pertaining to the sabbatical year, the seventh year.
God said, “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard.”
This was the word that God gave to the Israelites when they were in the wilderness, and it was one of the laws that they had to keep after they went into the land of Canaan.
Canaan is the ‘land flowing with milk and honey.’
God says that, after they settle down on the land, they should farm the land for 6 years and give it a rest during the 7th year.
But those who have fleshly thoughts cannot easily obey it.
And so, God said this in Leviticus 25:20-22;
“But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.”
It means that God will give them a good harvest in the 6th year so that they will have enough for 3 years.
Why do they need 3-year-worth crops?
They surely need food for the 7th year, and they still need food for the 8th year because they don’t work during the 7th year.
In addition, if they sow seeds of barley or wheat in the 8th year, they can harvest them in the 9th year.
That’s why God said, “You can still eat old things from the crop (from the 6th year), until the ninth year when its crop comes in.”
Just as God said, God takes the full responsibility for the children who obey Him.
Today, you can receive such a blessing of God by giving tithe.
Malachi 3:10-12 says, “”Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.”
As said, if you give ‘the whole tithe,’ God will protect your business or work and give blessing onto you.
God will stop unnecessary expense, and open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing.
But, if you begrudge the tithe and don’t give it, God cannot protect you.
Even when you are being cheated by a swindler, God can neither let you know, nor protect you from accidents or diseases.
Eventually, you will encounter a loss which is a much bigger amount than your tithe.
It is also ‘the ground doesn’t yield its strength.’
It was the first curse that came upon Cain.
The second curse was ‘you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.’
It means that ‘he will lose everything he inherits from his father and leave his livelihood.’
It is a grave punishment to become a displaced wanderer as the result of an unavoidable situation or by the force of someone.
Usually, when people become war refugees or taken as captives, they become displaced.
They become truly miserable.
And so, 2 Kings 21:8 says, “And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.”
Then, following verses describe the evil acts of Manasseh, the king of Judah.
Manasseh intensely and fervently worshipped idols; he even burned his children to make sacrifices.
When the king did this, the entire country fell into idol-worshiping.
Regarding this, 2 Chronicles 33:9 says, “Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the sons of Israel.”
Moreover, Manasseh shed much blood of innocent people.
That is, he persecuted and killed the prophets that God sent.
According to what people said, this king Manasseh killed Isaiah the prophet by cutting him in two with a saw.
Then, God judged Manasseh.
2 Chronicles 33:11 says, “Therefore the LORD brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon.”
The army of Assyria that destroyed Northern Israel then invaded Judah.
As God completely withdrew His protection, Jerusalem was conquered easily; Manasseh was bound in chains and taken to Babylon.
A king of a country was taken as captive to a hostile country; what a shameful and insulting situation it must have been for him!
Finally, Manasseh came to his senses.
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 says, “When he was in distress, he entreated the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.”
Then, Manasseh became a different man.
He gave an order to remove all the idols from Jerusalem, and to set up the altar of God.
Dear brothers and sisters.
So far, I explained the two punishments that God gave to Cain.
This law of the spiritual realm that dictates one shall reap what he sows is precise.
Therefore, if you sow faith, goodness, love, and righteousness, you will surely receive blessing.
On the contrary, if you sow evil and sin, you will encounter afflictions such as accidents or diseases.
Galatians 6:8 says, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Therefore, if you face a problem or difficulty, where should you find the cause?
You first have to look back on yourself whether you have sown evil and sin before God.
Do any of you say, “I don’t see any fruit even though I sowed goodness and love”?
Examples are when you think that you have planted a substantial amount of offerings and you don’t receive blessing or you think you were faithful to God and still things don’t go well.
If this is the case with you, you must look back on yourself whether there is a wall of sin between you and God.
As long as there is a wall of sin, the blessing cannot come.
In case of a severe work of the flesh, even though you repented, you would still have to make retribution.
While you are making retribution, the blessing will be delayed.
That is, even when you sow diligently, you won’t reap as much as you sow. Even after you receive the prayer of blessing, the blessing doesn’t come.
In these cases, if you ‘make amends for your iniquity,’ God may have mercy on you.
Leviticus 26 deals with this.
God told them to remember these words, even when Israel was going to be destroyed and Israelites would become strangers and wanderers in all the kingdoms.
Leviticus 26:40-42 says, “If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me. I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies–or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.”
And, Leviticus 26:44 says, “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.”
No matter how grave sin you committed, if you become humble in your heart and make amends for your sin, God will neither dislike you nor hate you.
God says He will not destroy you.
As I will tell you later, God gave the mercy of salvation to Cain as well.
Our God the Father is love.
He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed, but desires all of them to reach salvation.
In such love as this, He continued to give Cain the chance to repent.
When God revealed his evil act and mentioned about his punishment, he felt fear.
Finally, Cain took on a repenting posture.
In Genesis 4:13 says, Cain said to God, “My punishment is too great to bear!”
However, it was not the repentance from the depth of his heart.
He admitted his sin only because he feared the punishment.
God doesn’t want this kind of repentance.
He wants the repentance truly from the depth of a heart.
He wants the repentance of love.
What is, then, the repentance of love?
Let me put it this way.
Say, you love your parents so much and respect them from the depth of your heart.
One day, you did what your parents hate most.
And, your parents came to know about it.
If you are a child who truly loves the parents, you will surely come before them and ask for their forgiveness from the depth of your heart.
You will tear up your heart because you are so sorry to hurt your parents’ heart, and thoroughly repent before your parents.
In this case, your pain in your heart will be as great as you love your parents.
Some children, however, quickly repent only because they don’t want to lose favor with their parents due to their faults.
Chances are that, they kneel down for fear they should get disadvantage during the distribution of the property if they are out of favor with their parents.
The repentance that our Father God truly wants from His children of faith is this; His children turn back from the depth of their hearts because they love Father.
If they repent because they fear the immediate punishment, it is not true repentance.
Since it is not the repentance from the depth of a heart, they can commit the same sin any time.
If the condition that applies fear on them disappears, the form of evil that they haven’t cast off will come out again.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
If one keeps the commandments against his will because he fears punishment, he doesn’t love God.
It is true only when he keeps the commandments because he loves God.
Regarding this, our Jesus also said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
Those who come into spirit and love God most do not commit sin.
Even it is before entering spirit, if they love God, when they commit sin, they will immediately realize it and repent.
“Why did I hurt God the Father’s heart?” they will regret it over and over, and they will behave themselves not to commit sin again.
David was the exemplary man who made this repentance of love.
After David took Bathsheba and killed her husband, Uriah, with a wicked plan, he was severely reproached by God.
But David didn’t make an excuse at this moment, but immediately repented.
David’s heart at this time is well described in Psalm 51.
Let’s take a short look at it.
Psalm 51:1-3 says, “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.”
He honestly admitted his sin and asked for forgiveness.
Then, Psalm 51:11-12 says, “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
David didn’t distance himself from God out of fear, but he rather begged for the grace of God as if a little child ran into the bosom of his mother.
Finally, Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Since David himself made the repentance of love from the depth of his heart, he was confident that God would listen to him.
The repentance that God the Father desires is this kind of true repentance, the repentance of love.
It is not true repentance if you don’t truly turn back but just say you are sorry only with your lips just to save the situation.
You may deceive people, but not God.
Even the enemy devil and Satan know all the details concerning what kind of sins the people of flesh committed.
If Satan brings accusation for the sin what is not forgiven, God cannot but allow the trials to come upon the people.
As a result, the people pay the price according to justice saying that ‘you shall reap what you sow.’
Since Cain neither truly repented, he would pay the price for the sin he committed.
Regarding this, I will explain in the next lecture.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
In this lecture, I explained the two curses that God put upon Cain, and Cain’s reaction to the curses.
Our God the Father is love.
The justice of God who recompenses a man according to his work also comes from His love.
Love without justice is not perfect because it can be biased.
I hope, therefore, that you can hold on to the string of God’s love in any given situation.
Psalm 73:28 says, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”
Even if you are under a trial or you face a hardship, I hope that you can come even closer to God.
And you should be able to make our good Father God your refuge.
May you pass all the trials in the love of God the Father and possess faith that is like gold, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!