Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 27

Cain Went Out, January 21

Genesis 4:8-16

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. Genesis 4:16.

God had given Cain an opportunity to confess his sin.... He knew the enormity of the deed he had done, and of the falsehood he had uttered to conceal it; but he was rebellious still, and sentence was no longer deferred....

Notwithstanding that Cain had by his crimes merited the sentence of death, a merciful Creator still spared his life, and granted him opportunity for repentance. But Cain lived only to harden his heart, to encourage rebellion against the divine authority, and to become the head of a line of bold, abandoned sinners. This one apostate, led on by Satan, became a tempter to others; and his example and influence exerted their demoralizing power, until the earth became so corrupt and filled with violence as to call for its destruction....

Upon receiving the curse of God, Cain had withdrawn from his father's household.... He had gone out from the presence of the Lord, cast away the promise of the restored Eden, to seek his possessions and enjoyment in the earth under the curse of sin, thus standing at the head of that great class of men who worship the god of this world. In that which pertains to mere earthly and material progress, his descendants became distinguished. But they were regardless of God, and in opposition to His purposes for man.32Patriarchs and Prophets, 77-81.

In sparing the life of Cain the murderer, God gave the world an example of what would be the result of permitting the sinner to live to continue a course of unbridled iniquity. Through the influence of Cain's teaching and example, multitudes of his descendants were led into sin, until “the wickedness of man was great in the earth,” and “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”33The Great Controversy, 543.

As Cain went out from the presence of the Lord to seek his home; as the prodigal wandered into the “far country,” so do sinners seek happiness in forgetfulness of God.34Christ's Object Lessons 200.

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