Was Cain a Recipient of Common Grace?
Rev. Angus Stewart
Reprobate Cain was a child "of the devil" (I John
3:10), who "slew his brother" because his "works were evil" (12). Thus
Cain was an "abomination to the Lord" (Prov. 3:32; 11:20; 16:5), as was
everything about him: his "hands" (6:16-17), his "lying lips" (12:22),
his "thoughts" (15:26), his "sacrifice" and his "way" (15:8-9).
God spoke with Cain (Gen. 4:6-7, 9-15)—a
rational-moral creature—laying before him the ways of life and of death
(6-7) and explaining his evil deed of fratricide (9-10), thus leaving
him "without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). So far was God from bestowing "common
grace" upon Cain that He did not
bless him, but cursed him (Gen. 4:11-12)!
God marked Cain so that no man would kill him (15).
Cain’s prolonged life meant that he heaped up more wrath to himself
(Rom. 2:5). God willed Cain’s continuance on earth for some years so
that the line of the reprobate would continue and develop in sin (Gen.
4) over against the line of the elect (Gen. 5).
Nor were Cain’s city
building (4:17) or the riches, artistic talent and technological
advances of his descendants (20-22) signs of God’s love for the
reprobate. God’s purpose "when all the workers of iniquity do flourish"
(including Cain and his seed with their earthly prosperity) is "that
they shall be destroyed forever" (Ps. 92:7). God does not immediately
cut off the wicked for He is digging the pit for them (Ps. 94:13)—just
as He did with Cain, that child of the devil, who killed the first
martyr, Abel, his own brother (I John 3:10-12)!