ALIVE: Chapter Three - Children of Men

We last left our less than great grandfather, or possibly uncle Cain, taking a break to scarf down strawberries while attempting to run from his blood stained hands to Nod.

Cain was a torn man, at the same time a murderer and the first-born son of the first two children of God who had been born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God. Cain knew his Grandfather, the Creator of heaven and earth. Cain lied to Him. After he had killed his brother, the Lord God asked Cain where Abel was. Cain replied, "I do not know, am I my brother's keeper?" Cain was not only a self-centered murderer, he was also a sassy fool." Am I being too judgmental?

This whole scene began when Cain and Abel gifted God with the fruits of their labor. God preferred Abel's flock over Cain's fruit of the earth. That infuriated Cain. After all, Cain thought to himself, 'Didn't I work harder than Abel to till the ground (with sticks and sharp rocks,) plant the seeds and pull weeds in the scorching sun? Abel just strolled his little animals to the stream while I was hauling the heavy water to my plants.' The sooner one learns to accepts the fact that God doesn't have the same sense of fairness as we do, the better. Understanding is an option, obedience is not. God's unusual sense of fairness must be tied to His emphasis on forgiveness, which when you come down to it, is the epitome of unfairness, but is very Godly.

In an attempt to defuse his anger, God had told Cain that he would be accepted too if he did well. But if he didn't do well, God warned him, "Sin is lurching at your door. It wants to destroy you." Cain would have to master sin. Cain didn't know what God meant by doing well or what mastering sin meant. Instead he followed his impulse to lead his brother to the field where he stabbed him with an arrowhead. Did Cain think that by eliminating his competitor, he would win God's favor by default? Did the serpent make him do this too as it made his mother, Eve, eat the forbidden fruit? Did Adam and Eve eating that piece of fruit make Cain mean?

Cain's stupidity is not surprising. What is surprising is that after punishing Cain with eviction, God blessed him with a mark to protect him from any murderers that he may encounter out in the world. Cain was sent away from his precious soil, and from the presence of God into a world populated by children of men.

Steeped in thought Cain eventually arrived at Nod. A man approached him who looked like himself upright with long muscular dangling arms, except the main was very hairy and looked stern; Cain was scared. God was silent.

Cain and the man communicated with facial expressions and sounds. Translated here is what they said to each other.

"Who are you? And where did you come from?"

"I am a wanderer, but I want to stay here. My family is from Eden. I met a man from Nod many moons ago. He told me about this village. I have come to look for him. I used to farm the land, I could grow much food. I had to leave my farm because the soil became sour. I want fresh rich soil. May I live among you?"

Cain said nothing about his crime, or about God. The man said nothing about God because he didn't know where he came from, or that God existed. The man from Nod was hairy, Cain was not. Cain was a tall muscular man with shiny white teeth straight as piano keys, smooth olive colored skin, with green eyes and glistening light brown hair. Cain was glad the man didn't say anything about God. His fear gradually melted away as his confidence grew with the thought that he could be accepted for his farming skills and his seeds.

Three new hairy men walked onto the scene. When they saw the stranger they wondered if they should kill him.

"What is that animal?" Said one of the three to the others.

"I know him! I met him near Eden. He told me that he is called a human."

Recognizing that one, Cain shouted out. "Hello there, remember me? I have come to live among you. Give me land and I will give you food. I bring seeds." No reply.

The tallest of the men of Nod was not as tall as Cain. The man Cain had been speaking with walked over to his friends leaving Cain alone to wonder if he should run or stay. He was too tired to run.

The four men argued loudly. Cain did not understand what they were saying to each other. He wondered if he should slip away and find another place to settle, but besides being tired the soil looked rich and fertile, so he waited. He wondered whether the ground's curse on him for receiving his brother's blood stretched this far.

The four natives quieted down and walked over to Cain.

In their language the one most familiar to Cain spoke. He said, "You take my sister as wife and you may have land."

Cain replied. "Take me to your sister that I may see her."

The troop walked in procession to the center of the village where the women were cooking the day's meal together. The women were as hairy as the men. They all had dark brown eyes and wavy long black hair.

The brother shouted, "Farley, come."

With her head bowed demurely she obediently walked over to her brother and the weird hairless man.

"You will take this man as your husband. Come, I will show you the land you may settle in."

For centuries readers of Moses' creation story have wondered where the other people came from who lived in Nod when Adam and Eve were the only humans mentioned. Anthropologists have contemplated the evolution of humankind from Neanderthal. The fact is that not all homo sapiens were formed in the image and likeness of God as were Adam and Eve.

But when Cain, a child of God married a daughter of man, his children and grandchildren, became human, and thus gradually the brilliance of the human mind made in the image of God, and the sensitivity of the human heart dominated growing stronger with each generation. For the most part, the hairy body disappeared. Being alive gradually started to mean being sensitive and aware of the divine and most complex design of life.