So the other day while I was waiting for my wife to go into theatre for an elective C-Section I decided to start reading my Bible beginning at the first book. This in itself was not a usual decision as it was the 30th December and with the New Year around the corner I often set a Bible reading challenge for myself. So I began reading in the book of Genesis the book of beginnings not the book of the 1960’s band in which Phil Collins was a part of.
So I read through Genesis 1, the creation account, a stunning chapter of how the heavens and the earth were formed. Genesis 2 a second account of creation telling the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in complete relationship and communion with God. The third chapter plays out a bit like a soap opera where Adam and Eve are tempted by a crafty serpent and break God’s commands. They ate from the tree of knowledge which opened their eyes and sin entered into paradise. They were then expelled from the Garden and cursed; Eve with pain in childbirth and Adam with the ground that he knows he had to work to grow food. Genesis 4 is the story of their offspring Cain and Abel.
Cain and Abel both offer produce of their hard work to the Lord as an offering. Cain offers some fruit of the soil, while Abel offers the fat portions of the firstborn of his flock. God looks favourably on Abel’s offering most likely because it was the best that he could offer the Lord whereas Cain’s offering does not reveal its quality.
Thought: Do we offer God our very best or do we offer Him something that’s of little worth?
So now to a fast forwarded paraphrase of what happens next. Cain becomes angry and plots against his brother and does not heed God’s warning that “sin is crouching at your door”. He kills Abel and denies responsibility, God curses him so that he may not produce crops, and in other words he took away his livelihood and forced him to become a restless wanderer. God gives Cain a mark so that no-one will kill him or else they will face a sevenfold vengeance.
Then this verse
16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
So I read this verse and laughed, it struck me funny as we might say before we go off to sleep that we are going to the land of Nod. I have never seen that in the Bible before, isn’t it amazing when the God of the universe speaks with us through his word even amuses us with its revelation. Maybe it was funnier to me as I was waiting to witness the birth of my second baby and knew that I would be longing for the land of Nod in not too many days from his birth.
So Nod means wandering, I have never thought of sleep like that before…..although I guess in our dreams we do wander from one moment to the next. The word Nod comes from the Hebrew root in “restless wanderer” so by Cain living in the land of Nod he was literally fulfilling Gods words that “you will be a restless wanderer on the earth”.
So there you have it, next time you hear someone refer to the land of Nod as they go off to sleep you can give them a biblical reason for its use.