Today’s been a good day.
1. I have a snowboard! Of course, now all I need is snow, but for some reason Tasmania tends to realise that winter’s really here somewhere around August, so I’m not fretting too much. I just want to learn the basics – you know, steering, stopping – and next winter I’m hoping to do a trip to Mt Buller or Perisher, and if I’m really lucky, even a trip to New Zealand. We’ll see how that pans out, anyway!
2. Had a great cruise today, and was once again reminded that I live in the most beautiful place on Earth. We took a drive down through New Norfolk, originally scheduled for Mt Field national park, but ended up deciding to keep going and went all the way to Strathgordon, and wow… I wish I’d taken my camera. It was just amazing. Not to mention one of the best driving roads I’ve been on.
Oh, and a nice little gravel patch led to some great fun drifting, too.
3. It was my cousin’s engagement party tonight, had a great time. Reunited with an old friend I haven’t seen in over two years and sang a couple of karaoke duets just like the old days. It was fun, I had a ball.
But on topic. I was going to do two chapters today, but it’s late, so I’m just sticking with one. At some point though I’m hoping to catch up to Steve and balance the chapters out.
Reading Genesis is easy, Exodus will probably be okay too. It’s going to be the Leviticus/Numbers bit that will be the struggle, but I’ve got what – about three months to worry about that.
Almost everyone knows the story of Cain and Abel, they offered sacrifices, Abel’s was accepted (or at least “looked on with favour”) while Cain’s wasn’t. Cain spat the dummy, killed his brother and then God exiled him – Eastwards.
Strange thing about East, it’s also the compass direction that is detailed in the previous chapter. Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden, leaving a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth on the East side. I’ve never noticed that before, I’m sure someone has though. I wonder what the significance of that is?
Anyway, moving on, Cain is exiled and sent to live in the Land of Nod. My bible’s footnote says that Nod means ‘wandering’, so it would imply that he lived a Nomadic life, at least until he built the city of Enoch, then a few more generations are born, and then this interesting little sidenote.
Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. Genesis 4:20-22
This entire story, the tale of Cain, seems to be irrelevant. Given that in two chapters’ time, the entire population of the world is about to be destroyed, why tell the story? Where’s Enoch? Who are the people who live in tents and raise livestock, supposedly descended from Jabal? Or the musicians descended from Jubal? Or the iron and bronze-workers who were descended from Tubal-Cain?
My initial thought is more along the lines of those people being the “inventors” so to speak, of those things. Jabal made a life out of nomadic heritage; Jubal maybe was the man who invented man-made music? Tubal-Cain was the first blacksmith?
Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that even though Cain was punished and exiled, that wasn’t the end of it. There was still a lot of good things that came from his lineage. In spite of being remembered in history as the first murderer, his descendants gave us – well, nomads – but also music and iron.
Perhaps there’s two lessons to be taken from this chapter:
1. Cain was worried about being killed, but God said that anyone who killed him would suffer vengeance seven times over. Perhaps we should take the lesson that really, we’re better off not doling out our own judgment on other people. Just let their lives take care of their own.
2. Even though Cain’s part in the bible is to be the world’s first murderer, his descendants did great things. It doesn’t matter what’s in our past or in our heritage, we can still do great things no matter where we come from.
God: takes care of things.