In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:3-7
How could we talk about offerings without mentioning Cain and Abel and their story? Cain brought offerings of fruit. Now, I had to admit I went back and reread this, while Abel gave the firstborn of the flock, there is a lot of wisdom here and spiritual revelation that I don’t want us to miss.
We know that Ephesians 2:8 tells us we are saved by grace and not works. Cain offered works, perhaps even second best works, he could have eaten the best and given God the leftovers. Like we are known by our fruit, Cain was angry and jealous, and God’s question was simple really, if you do well, won’t you be accepted? He saw His heart, the bitterness and hatred toward his brother, it was a lot more than competition and sibling rivalry.
Abel offered up a lamb most likely, his offering was acceptable and God was pleased you have to remember that they too were under the grace of God, there was no law yet, God spoke to people and would send angels. Jesus, for believers is once and for all sacrifice, and He too knows hearts, you cannot abuse grace.
We know the rest of the story, I can imagine Cain as a wanderer and a vagabond running around like the madman in the tombs, he was the first murderer, you know the devil was from the beginning, his jealousy of Christ has caused trouble from the start. And yet, God made some provision for Cain, He is full of mercy and grace, but He will not always strive with people, so what we offer should be the best we can do, and really Jesus is our offering and we should be so grateful.
An angry and jealous brother killed his, and denied it to God, ” Am I my brother’s keeper? ” And this according to my research was a gruesome murder, I read in some text I can’t recall that he was killed with a weapon that nearly decapitated him, if that is the case, it was doubly heinous, it was the first and a beheading.
Jesus was offered in a most cruel manner as a sacrifice for us, and was and is God’s own Son, He is good enough to cover anyone who believes but never condones any of these actions and knows hearts, He will prune and harvest souls that are pure in heart, not people who think grace allows you to just say you believe and keep willfully sinning. If we know Jesus we don’t want to. He knows we can make mistakes and forgives but there is quite a difference.
Cain could have been angry and not killed his brother. I do feel sorry for Abel, he may not have ever known what was about to happen. Adam and Eve had a rotten apple didn’t they? It is why people should always bless their children as believers, but if you have a spoiled one or bratty one, ask God to help you with discipline. We are living in times where love is waxing cold and children turn against their parents, authority and siblings, even God. Life is sacred and too short to bicker and quibble.
If you do well, He accepts you. And Jesus, our Lamb, will save the lost by grace and your heart will change.
Rebecca Jones Mari-jana1 / Pixabay