Cain was given a chance to repent, but he chose instead to reject God's mercy. He tried to run from God and he built his own city—and each generation of his descendants living in that city achieved a new level of wickedness. The city was filled with lonely, hard, arrogant, self-seeking people. This is because choosing a self-directed life instead of obedience to God always leads to loneliness and isolation.
In a large city you find masses of people, of course. Yet a significant number of them, perhaps the majority, feel a deep sense of loneliness. Uncomfortable being alone, people tend to gather in groups, harboring the illusion that they are connected to others. But most of them share no more connection than a passing acquaintance. They concentrate on their own concerns, hardly thinking of others and failing at intimacy.
The peace we yearn for can be found only in the garden of God's grace.
Even husbands and wives can feel like strangers. We are often too afraid to look in our own hearts, let alone share our thoughts and feelings with another person. Being intimate requires us to open up to one another and be vulnerable, and that's a risk many of us are not willing to take.
This is not the way God meant us to live. He designed us to need each other. In the garden, Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God—enjoying each other's company and their environment together.
Cain did just the opposite, deliberately putting distance between himself and God. If we follow Cain's example, seeking refuge apart from the presence of God, we will never find peace. The peace we yearn for can be found only in the garden of God's grace.
Prayer: There is no place of refuge apart from You, Lord; please satisfy my restless heart in You. There is no other person, relationship, or situation that will bring lasting peace into my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).