Where was Adam? - by Ben Bonython

Take a moment and reflect on Adam who had two boys, Cain and Abel.  Genesis 4:3-16 offer a few verses reminding us just how quickly life passes us by.  But also in this passage, we learn that the boys are born, quickly grow up and start working.  Soon after giving thanks to God, a terrible family tragedy occurs.  I have often wondered:

‘Where was Adam?’

Maybe he was busy; busy in the fields sweating to grow crops from the ground.  Maybe he was busy making money to pay for private education and the latest iPhone.  Was he off playing sport or pursuing a hobby?  Maybe Adam was far away fishing, or mustering the cattle.  The bible doesn’t say, but what we do know is that Adam was mostly absent from the story of his boys, Cain and Abel.

Some may argue that we are reading too much into the story, but I wonder…

You have probably heard people described their relationships with their father as ‘far away’ or ‘absent’ or ‘not close’.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they were not loved, or cared for, rather just like the story of Cain and Abel, their father was absent relationally.

The contrast this passage offers is profound when we think about Father God.  Father God is present where Adam isn’t.  Father God comes to encourage Cain where Adam doesn’t.  The story of Cain and Abel reminds us that Father God is watching us and is near us.  Father God is one who seeks us out even when we are angry and struggling with wrong thoughts and intentions.  Father God is not far away or absent – He is with us. 

Our Father in heaven, who knows us and is near us.  Our prayer is that we would know Father God’s love and faithfulness in sending Jesus.  Jesus knew our struggle and our pain and our desires – because He became like us.  Your father in heaven created you, knows you and loves you. And because of Jesus, we can live in the presence of Father God and know Him more and more. 

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

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

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

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 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.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
— Genesis 4:3-16