From the beginning of man’s creation community has been important. When God created man (Genesis 1 and 2) he stated that it was not good for man to be alone. We are social creatures, we want to be loved and respected by others. I’m reading a book by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “Thou Shall Prosper”. It’s an amazing read based on Biblical principles of wealth and prosperity. I’d recommend it to anyone, believers or not.
One story, from the Genesis account of Cain and Abel, really caught my attention. Cain killed his brother Abel, partly out of jealousy, and partly out of a desire to have the wealth of the world to himself. As a result God cursed the ground for his sake; it wouldn’t yield its crops to Cain. God told Cain that he would be forced to wander the earth, never staying in one place long enough to see the fruits of his labors. When Cain told God that the curse was too for him to bear, God allowed him to dwell in the land of Nod.
As we continue reading the story Cain realizes the importance of community. By murdering his brother Cain removed the ability to conduct business, to enter into transactions with another, to enjoy the prosperity that comes with community. When God cursed the ground it meant that Cain couldn’t gain wealth from his own abilities, this world became a curse to him. When God lessened his punishment the first thing Cain did was to have a son and build a city. He was attempting to rebuild what he had destroyed, to regain that sense of community.