Seven Sins of Cain

Today’s gospel reading is from Genesis 4:8-15. The reading describes what is known to most as the first murder. When Cain is cast out and afraid that he himself will be murdered, the Lord replies “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.”

(This theme arises again in Proverbs)

Interestingly enough, the story does not depict only murder. According to St. John Chrysostom, murder is one of seven sins Cain commits. Seven is a number which holds biblical meaning of a great multitude. The seven sins as outlined by Chrysostom are as follows:

  • The First Sin: Cain envied his brother for the favor he received from the Lord
  • The Second Sin: Cain envied his own brother
  • The Third Sin: Cain devised a plot against his brother
  • The Fourth Sin: Cain committed murder
  • The Fifth Sin: Cain murdered his own brother
  • The Sixth Sin: Cain was the first to commit murder
  • The Seventh Sin: Cain lied to God about the murder

Any one of these sins stand on their own as devastating to the soul. Cain committed all seven of these together in the act of committing the first murder and introducing such an atrocity into our fallen world.

The mark that was placed on Cain was not so much a matter of protection as it was a manner in which to make known to all the magnitude of the sins committed, in private, by Cain.

The Lord knows our actions and our hearts, there is no use in trying to hide anything from the Lord. During this intense period of time, designated by the church for our own personal cleansing, let us hasten to the Lord for forgiveness. Let our desire be also marked by a firm commitment to change they way we life our life so as to become pleasing to God, our Father.

“Let us hasten to enter the season of fasting;
let us carefully obey the Gospel commands,
that we may be made acceptable to Christ our God
and regain our home in Eden”

~Cheesefare Sunday Vespers

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