“And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden” (Genesis 4:16).
This is a very sad and ominous verse, foreshadowing the tragic fate of all those who “have gone in the way of Cain” (Jude 11). “A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth,” God had said (Genesis 4:12), destined to a restless life of moving to and fro in “the land of Nod” (literally, “the land of wandering”) all the rest of his days.
Cain’s basic sin was not just the murder of Abel. “And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (I John 3:12). “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts” (Hebrews 11:4). Abel’s work of sacrifice was judged righteous by God, and Cain’s was not, because Cain “was of that wicked one” (I John 3:12). He had refused to offer the blood of an acceptable sacrifice for his sins (and thus forfeited God’s witness that he was righteous), instead offering the fruits of the cursed ground, produced by his own efforts. But then Abel’s shed blood entered that ground, so even it could “not henceforth yield unto thee her strength” (Genesis 4:12), and Cain became a wanderer.
Thus it will be in eternity, for all those who refuse to come to God through the blood of the one acceptable Sacrifice, His own righteous Son. They shall “have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11), like “wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 13), “who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (II Thessalonians 1:9).
Such eternal separation from God is the very essence of hell. In glorious contrast to such a prospect, all who come to God through Christ will “ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17). HMM