Common Grace in the Land of Nod

Rodger Woodworth

After Cain killed his brother he “left the Lord’s presence and settled in the land of Nod.” The word Nod means fugitive, separated from God and cut off from community. Nod is that place where you can not find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman – you’re not looking. Yet Nod is still a place that is never beyond God’s grace, for God not only protects Cain, but allows him to establish a city and start a family.  Cain’s descendants become the fathers of livestock, musical instruments and metal work.  Much of our world’s artistic culture was started by the descendants of Cain.

There may not be a better example of common grace. Cain was a selfish brat who used worship to get his own way, murdered his brother, denied responsibility and then asks God to protect him. God agrees and puts a mark on him as a sign of both judgment and grace. God is saying to Cain, you’re a mess but no one is going to mess with you.  What Cain should have done for his little brother God now does for Cain.

So many today are living in the land of Nod. Separated from God and not looking for God, yet living under the common grace that allows them to develop the very culture we live in. It is in that common grace, the common good of cultural development, that we can engage those living as fugitives from God and embrace them with the saving grace of the gospel.

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