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Genesis 4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, Where is your brother Abel? I don’t know, he replied. Am I my brother’s keeper?

Cain’s sarcastic reply showed that he was completely unrepentant. He had no sorrow for sin, nor any regret for what he had done. He hardened his heart against the voice of God, and became a hardened killer. Even then, God would have received Cain, if he would have repented. [A] broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17), wrote David.

Genesis 4:10 Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

Abel’s parents did not hear him scream, but God heard his blood crying out from the ground. It is mine to avenge; I will repay (Deuteronomy 32:25), said God. Whoever rejects God’s mercy will have to face his righteous wrath.

As part of his punishment, Cain would become a restless wanderer (Genesis 4:12). His life would be an aimless journey, without meaning or direction, leading to the grave, and then to hell below. This sad path is chosen by many, but those who follow Christ journey to a better place. We can go with God, or we can go with the devil, but the destinations are as different as the paths we choose.