February 03, 2014

Roamers and Pilgrims

Genesis 4:1-12

The LORD said, “… Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse… You will be a rest-less wanderer on the earth.”
—Genesis 4:10-12


Many of us think we are far busier today than people were in ages past. Alternating between the breakneck speed of life in the fast lane and the slog of gridlock, our lives in the modern world rarely give us time to think about where we are going.

But the hectic nature of life in our time can be deceiving. With so much activity, we might think that we are going somewhere, that life is heading in the right direction. Yet, for all its busyness, so many people in our world feel profoundly empty and lost.

The result of Cain’s act of murder can help us understand our situation. After killing his brother, he was cursed. In particular, the consequence of the curse was that he would be a “restless wanderer.” He would not have a place that he could truly call home. By opposing God, he was on the go, but with nowhere to go.

This image describes the results of sin in our broken world. Without God’s Word as a light for our path, we do not know where to go. Without Jesus, we too are restless wanderers.

Perhaps the 4th-century theologian Augustine said it best: “O Lord … our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Lord God, we confess that our hearts by themselves desire to wander. Thank you for giving us Jesus Christ, who is the way and the truth and the life. We pray in his name. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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