Genesis 4:16 -“And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”
Tragedy came to the first family. Cain killed his brother, Abel. When God confronted Cain about his sin, he was not honest and repentant. As a result, God cursed Cain. Our Scripture records that “Cain went out from the presence of the LORD.” There is a sense in which we are always in God’s presence since He is everywhere at all times. But the phrase refers to leaving the place of God’s presence and blessing.
Cain willingly walked away from God and from the faith of his family. The rebel dwelt in a place referred to as “the land of Nod.” The name “Nod” means, “wandering.” It is very similar to the word that is translated as vagabond in Genesis 4:14, when Cain said, “I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.” Cain was in exile, banished from the place of God’s blessing.
Does this not illustrate for us the way of the transgressor? When a person leaves the will of God and walks away “from the presence of the LORD,” he should not expect a path of comfort and blessing. LIVING IN NOD, wandering here and there, living in a world of instability, describes the unhappy lives of many rebels.
We realize that all of us will sin against the Word of God and against the will of the Savior. But when we sin, the reasonable thing to do is to confess our sin and seek the forgiveness of God. When we have wronged another person, we should seek his/her forgiveness as well. But there is something in our prideful, human nature that resists honest confession and true repentance. Stubbornly, people will walk away “from the presence of the LORD” rather than get their hearts right.
When Jonah got his assignment to preach the Word of God to Nineveh, he also rebelled and fled “from the presence of the LORD” (Jonah 1:3). Jonah found out that leaving God’s will leads to a difficult place. Sometimes people talk about how hard it is in the will of God, and we know that there are times it is certainly difficult to follow the Lord. But the hardest life is not the life of service and obedience, it is the life of rebellion.