Most everyone is familiar with Cain, the first child of Adam and Eve. Dejected and angry because God rejected his unworthy sacrifice, Cain killed his brother Abel and, as punishment, was driven from his homeland and forced to wander the earth. Eventually he lived in a place “east of Eden” referred to as the land of Nod, which means “wanderings.” Whether or not that territory was literally named “Nod” or not, is unimportant. I suppose Moses, under God’s inspiration, may have used that term because it so aptly described the penalty of Cain, whose jealousy of his brother led to his spiritual demise.
Like many others, Cain complained about his punishment, complaining that he would be a target for everyone he met (Genesis 4:14). But the Lord allowed him to live when he justly deserved death. Why did Cain receive this punishment? Some would say he didn’t deserve it, but God’s actions, which are always just and right, proved otherwise.
Simply speaking, he received it because he was disobedient to the Lord, and his sin separated him from his creator. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, not known for mincing words in his teaching, said in response to those who bitterly contended that God was either unable or unwilling to save them, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
What does this mean for us today, centuries from the time of this wanderer? Can we see that disobedience to god, if continued in impenitently, will result in our being relegated to wandering in the spiritual land of nod?
The Israelites under Moses and Aaron wandered for four decades in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula because of their lack of trust and constant insistence on going their own way instead of the way of the Lord. We can do the same today. The wilderness of sin is no less real that that which trapped the Jews thousands of years ago.
Allow God to guide you, as he and Moses ultimately led the descendants of Jacob out of the land of disobedience to the Promised Land. The spiritual land of Nod is a terrible place of fear and uncertainty.
But God is faithful and will rescue us from it if we will only follow his lead. He will help you to defeat your enemies — Satan and his angels — and give you the victory over evil you so much desire. Then the salvation available only in Jesus Christ will be yours.