Was Cain Cursed By Trusting More in Technology Than in God?

Hi. I have this theory that pertains to the world we are living in today - full of technological advances on a daily basis.

Now, this question might appear simple, but it isn’t really. At least not where I am standing.

This is the question: Was Cain cursed by God because his trust was more in his technology than God? And also, how can we use our technology for Godly ends rather than self gratification?

Now, the first evidence I see of this is that after Cain was cursed, he went out and built a city which shows he is concerned with technology in some sense. Further, his offspring were also workers of technology. Then it talks about Lamech saying, "For I have killed a man for wounding me, and a boy for bruising me. If Cain is to be avenged seven times, then Lamech—77 times!” Notice how Lamech was the seventh generation of man.

Later, we see what God did to the Tower of Babel, which was also a sign that man was punished for putting so much trust in their technology.

And then it says this in Exodus 20:25 When you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it from cut stone, for if you use a tool on it, you will have profaned it. 26 Nor are you to go up to My altar on steps, so that your nakedness would not be uncovered while on it.”

So am I totally out of line in thinking Cain was cursed for his trust in technology over his trust in God? I ask because it’s not clear exactly why Cain’s sacrifice was rejected and I am assuming Cain used gardening tools. Also, if this is the case, it should tell us we really have to be very careful with our use of technology and make sure we don’t fall into the trap if it becoming our God.

Thanks for reading!

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Hello Jesse,
Thank you for this thoughtful post. I hope Jo and Vince decide to address your question in the near future! In the meantime, I hope you don’t mind if I participate in your topic.

Would your definition of technology as it relates to the Bible be anything of that period in Scripture that is innovative or practical in work, home or development (agriculture, cloth production, building construction, etc.)? Let me know if I’m off track on your meaning.

As I read the passage in Genesis 4 regarding Cain, Abel and Lamech and Genesis 11:1-9 regarding the tower of Babel, I see a different problem that God is addressing in all these situations. At the foundation of the problem would be pride.

Cain is actually cursed because he killed his brother, Abel, out of jealousy. God, in His compassion and concern, even gave Cain a “heads up” that he was at risk for sin because of his attitude about the offering. But Cain gives into his attitude after God rejected his offering, but accepted Abel’s.

The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but he did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”

Then he said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. Genesis 4:4b-12

1 John 3:11-12 tells us that Cain already had evil in his heart, and lacked love.

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

Genesis 4:1-5 does not give direct explanation of why God rejected Cain’s offering, but we can assume that since Abel knew how to make an offering that is regarded as acceptable by God, Cain had the same information as it would pertain to his part. Hebrews 11:4 tells us that Abel’s sacrifice was offered in faith and accepted by God. So we have to assume that Cain’s offering was not offered in faith, but perhaps in his own self righteousness.

I would venture to say that Cain decided to worship and make an offering in his own way and expected God to just accept things Cain’s way. Cain’s bitterness led to an avalanche of unfortunate events, and Cain was cursed. It is never revealed that Cain ever demonstrated any remorse. BUT even then God listens to Cain’s response to the curse.

But Cain answered the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Since you are banishing me today from the face of the earth, and I must hide from your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me.”

Then the Lord replied to him, “In that case, whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” And he placed a mark on Cain so that whoever found him would not kill him. Genesis 4:13-15

Now Lamech is another situation. Yes, Lamech is a descendant of Cain, and he appears to have the same misguided attitude toward God and other people as his ancestor. He takes the promise God gave Cain that no one would murder Cain and used it as an excuse to murder other people. God did not give Cain permission to kill, but put a mark on him to prevent others from killing him.

Lamech killed others and misused God’s promise to Cain to justify his own murderous actions. Pride is again a significant problem here. The quote you referenced (Genesis 4:23-24) is his boast to his wives after killing 2 people who wounded him, rather than a real confirmation of God’s approval of Lamech’s choices.

The tower of Babel: I’m seeing that trendy pride again. We read between Genesis chapters 4-11 that the population of the earth increased, and the flood takes place wiping out all but Noah’s family who came from Seth’s line. And the earth repopulates again through Noah’s line.

The text does give detail about how they used bricks for stones and asphalt for mortar, so this would be a very early example of building material innovation. But the people state that their motive for building is:

Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.
Genesis 11:4

It seems their motive is pride. It doesn’t seem to be the building that concerns God, but the motive. God sees this (like He did with Cain) as a trend toward self destructive behavior that would form a huge wedge between mankind and God. So He shuts it down to protect them from themselves by confusing language and spreading population.

In the Exodus passage you mentioned, God uses the opportunity to remind the builders that the altars are to remain the rocks He produces and not become an object of human-made pride. Those natural rocks that God provided were His preference. In His holy nature, each time one looked at the altar, where sacrifice for sin is made, one would see His work on our behalf, not our own.

He has enabled the use of Spiritual gifts and innovative skills in the creation of garments and items for the Jewish Tabernacle in

Exodus 28:2-4, Exodus 31:1-10, Exodus 35:30-35
So we know God does not shun the use of creative innovation that He has bestowed on mankind.

In my observations, technology/innovation is truly a gift from God that is an outflowing of His creative nature. He gives us ability to produce things that are useful, beautiful, beneficial, healthful, delicious, etc. But we have to guard our use and our motives.

We see this valuable technology on Connect being used to share Truth and the Bible with the world! We see wonderful things to learn on video platforms, the gospel on Instagram, etc. That’s pretty epic! But we also know that social platforms can be used to harass, human traffic, view porno, and blaspheme the Lord.

But, it is our responsibility to manage our blessings God’s way, and be on alert for the things that offend His Spirit and bring Him grief.

I hope this offered some new insight into your inquiry. I am always grateful for opportunities to revel at the way the Lord works in His creation to declare His character, love, grace and nature to all of us.

Happy New Year to you!

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I think it has more to do with a reliance on tools (of our own making) more than God. The, “More than God” is a very important piece here because I am not inferring that all technology is evil, more that with our further and further dependent on technology, we can lose sight of God because of that. Does that make sense?

And yes, it is totally pride. That is absolutely part of it. But the question becomes, what was their pride based in? That is where technology comes into the picture.

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with our further and further dependent on technology, we can lose sight of God because of that.

For sure! I agree. That’s why it’s so important to daily self evaluate our motives through the filter of the Holy Spirit. We can’t control how everyone else operates, and it’s very difficult when we observe great innovations used for evil. God will justly judge our stewardship, and we can rely on Him to know our heart in the matter.

So do you think their pride was based on their accomplishments? Or was pride already an issue and it was increased with their achievements or actions?

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I think their accomplishments was part of it, but not the whole thing. They used their tools to try and become like God. That is the method that they chose to use, was technology. Adam and Eve used the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That is what it means to be prideful - is to try and become like God. How this is done can very. In Paul’s time, he talked a lot about the flesh. That people were giving into their impulses and striving for a kind of hedonism to be “complete” or like God. And Paul says he counted all that as loss to gain Christ. Now we are back to technology in present day.

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Agreed. There are so many ways pride can interfere with our relationship with God and others!

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