Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cain's Curses

Cain's Curses


Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

But the LORD said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.”

Genesis 4:8-15 (NIV).

In this account, Cain’s murder merited three curses: 1. Spiritually, God told this farmer that he was driven from his livelihood to become a restless wanderer. 2. Psychologically, he felt unbearable pain, rejection by God, and everyone’s derision. 3. Consequently, both a spiritual and psychological curse would fall seven times greater to those who would murder Cain.

Do Cain’s curses apply to parents who abort their children today? Our communication with God is not as direct as Cain's. Were it so, they might hear:

The Lord asks them, “Where is your child?”

They answer, “What child? Are we the keepers of products of our union which we do not want?”

The Lord replies, “What have you done? Listen! Your child’s blood cries out to me from the womb. From within, therefore, a curse will deprive you of the joy your livelihoods previously brought to you.”

They reply, “Our punishment is more than we can bear. We cannot escape our misery from within. We cannot find your presence which we previously took for granted. Everyone will despise us to death.”

The Lord says to them, “Not so, for most will not know of your conduct or its curses, and anyone killing you will be seven times cursed.”

Although their communication with God is not as direct, their psychological response appears the same. The accounts of post-abortion trauma are well documented.

Psychologically, the mothers and fathers of aborted children bear witness to the curses they have experienced from their abortions.

What about the third curse? Do we know anyone who has killed such a parent and experienced such curses on a multiple scale? One example comes to mind: O.J. Simpson. In a deposition he testified that his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson had three abortions.

While he was able to escape conviction for murder, a subsequent civil jury found him liable to both the families of his ex-wife and friend, Ronald Goldman. The families were not able to collect multimillion dollar judgment against Simpson, but his livelihood was destroyed, he faced multiple civil and criminal trials and presently he is serving a 9 to 33 year sentence in prison. We will never know this side of heaven to what degree his downfall is attributable to Cain’s curses, but we can only hope for the grace of God to lead us away from such a wretched life's path.

More ominously, we must ask, however, whether Cain's third curse applies even to us, who do not commit abortions or other murders. If we take seriously Christ's words in the sermon on the mount, I think we must worry about that. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. ... And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." Matt. 5:21-22 (NIV). We know that abortions cause broken relationships afterwards, just as Cain learned. But as every relationship has at least two persons, logically, the dire consequences which follow are not limited to those who participate in the wrongdoing. Everyone's relationships with those participants likewise are damaged. How easy is it to snap back in anger against someone who does a perceived wrong, not realizing that the cause of the wrongdoer's conduct is a dark cloud that hangs over their life from a past abortion? Sure, we do not physically murder the person, but Christ's words do not so easily let us off the hook.

What then can we do? We cannot be angry. We must, in Christ's words, turn the other cheek, both in practice and in spirit. In place of anger, we must pray for the healing of those who persecute us. By God’s grace and Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, we know for certain that God lifts Cain’s curses for those who repent and turn their lives back toward Him. Witness the redemption of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, once the abortionist of his own child who became one of the most stalwart defenders of the unborn and a true follower of Christ. Let none of us, therefore, heap condemnation upon the heads of those under Cain's curses, but urge all to seek and find forgiveness, healing and communion with all our Lord's brothers and sisters.

Newsboys "I am Free"