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Genesis 4

And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch (v. 7).

After Adam and Eve fell into sin, there was a rapid escalation in the warfare between the city of God and the city of man. In other words, there was a rapid expansion of human evil. Only a few years after the fall, the first murder occurred when Cain slew his brother, Abel. In response, God pronounced a curse upon Cain, just as He had for Adam and Eve when they sinned. In Adam’s case, God had said: ” ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.’ ” Thenceforth, the man and his descendants faced difficulty in exercising dominion over the creation— raising crops for their sustenance took on new difficulty. Cain, however found his calling in tilling the ground (Gen. 4:2). But when he sinned, God negated that skill, saying: ” ‘Now you are cursed from the earth When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you.’ ” Furthermore, just as God had banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He exiled Cain from the company of his family, the people of God. ” ‘A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth,’ ” God told him.

And so “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.” There, he turned from farming to building. In fact, he built a city, naming it after his firstborn son, Enoch. But this city was built by an avowed enemy of God. Naturally, therefore, it was intended for his own protection, strength, and glory, not God’s. As such, it was a physical type of the spiritual city of man.

What follows in Genesis 4 is a brief genealogy of Cain. His descendants expanded on his disobedience, further expanding the city of man. Several generations after Cain came Lamech, who became the first polygamist and who sang a song celebrating human violence, power, and strength. He was proclaiming the creation of an “evil empire.” And so it went, on and on, generation after generation, until “the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11) and God determined to destroy the wicked human race by a flood.

But one man found grace in God’s eyes—Noah, who was descended through the godly line of Seth (Gen. 5). He alone of all men walked with God (Gen. 6:9) and willingly lived under divine authority. He of all men was a citizen of the city of God.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

It seemed that all the world had turned away from God, but one man, Noah, still followed Him. Sometimes it can seem equally dark in our own day, but Scripture teaches that God always has a faithful remnant. The city of God shall not fall, but shall triumph in the end. Praise and thank Him for preserving the citizens of His city.


For Further Study
  • 1 Kings 19:18
  • 2 Kings 19:31
  • Isa. 1:9; 49:8
  • Rom. 11:5

Two Cities at War

A Monument to Ourselves

Keep Reading The Power of Preaching

From the March 2003 Issue
Mar 2003 Issue