(Genesis 4:3) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. (Genesis 4:4) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (Genesis 4:5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
As a child in Sunday school when I was first taught the story of Cain and Abel I thought it was unfair for God to reject Cain’s offering. Cain was a tiller of the ground and brought fruit of the ground as an offering to God. Abel was a keeper of sheep and brought of the firstlings of his flock. On the surface both seemed okay in my eyesight so I could not understand why God did not receive Cain’s offering. Over the years I’ve grown to understand more and more the problems with Cain’s offering. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
- Attitude as we look at Cain’s response to God not accepting his offering the scripture says he was very wroth the MKJV says he glowed with anger and the CEV says that he was so angry that he could not hide his feelings.
- Note it says that it says that Abel brought of the firstlings of his flocks and of the fat thereof in other words Abel brought some of the best of what he had. Scripture does not say that Cain presented God brought the best of the fruit of the ground.
- Cain’s response as we stated earlier Cain had an attitude he did not ask God what he could do in order to have an acceptable sacrifice.
- A jealous heart as we read farther down in this chapter we see that Cain becomes so jealous of Abel that he eventually kills him.
- Blood sacrifice while it is not noted in this portion of scripture in subsequent chapters we find that God requires a blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Centuries later his only begotten son will sacrifice his life in order to redeem all of humanity from the penalty of sin.
We could go on but we’ll stop there, a lot can be learned from the story of Cain and Abel. How often do we neglect to follow God’s instructions and mandates? How often do we do things according to our feelings, whims, and desires? How often are we jealous of others because of their success? How often do we blame others for our problems, conditions, and situations that we find ourselves in? We are our own worst enemy and it doesn’t have to be that way.
God wants so much better for us, he does not desire for us to be lonely, sick, broke, unhappy, or frustrated. Many times our environment the friends that we choose or the company we keep causes us to live a life full of misery. Question yourself does God approve of the company you keep and the environment that you find yourself in? If Jesus were here today could he run with you or hang with you? If the answer is no then why do you continue to do what you do? If your lifestyle is unacceptable to God then what makes you think you’re going to receive his approval or his acceptance. Abel presented God with a sacrifice that was pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God.
As Christians we are to be a living sacrifice holy and acceptable in God’s eyesight. I was reminded many times growing up what my Grand Father was quoted as saying “You can’t say good God and good devil” we all have to make a choice as to who are we going to serve. Whose reflection are we going to be as we journey through life? As Joshua said in the Old Testament (Joshua 24:15) And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah. Will you choose to serve God or will you follow the trends of the world? You can’t have it both ways, you must make a choice anything else is unacceptable Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike