After Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, Eve conceived and gave birth to a son, the very first child after the creation, and named him Cain. Then, Abel was born also. Cain became a tiller of the ground while Abel became a shepherd. One day, they both gave their offerings to the Lord: Cain, the fruit of the ground, his crops; Abel, the firstborn of the flock and their fat. God accepted Abel and his offering but Cain and his offering, He did not accept. This made Cain very angry.
(image from Google)
One might think, “What kind of gift did Cain offer to God? Why did God not accept him and his gift?” And one might be inclined to empathize with Cain. Was God not fair?
Abel offered the firstborn of his flock and their fat. One can imagine the sincerity of Abel and his love and honor for the Lord, offering only the finest of his flock – the firstborn. Maybe Cain’s heart was not that sincere and fervent resulting to his offering which left much to be desired? Remember, it wasn’t only their offerings God considered, but their beings as well, their character. What was their motive in offering to God? What moved them? Was it to please God through their offerings and worship Him? I think the answer to these questions would shed light as to why God judged them thus.
The Lord saw Cain’s anger and so asked him, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”
Cain’s heart was not pure and God knew it, so He warned Cain, “And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Sin lied at the door of Cain’s heart, and despite God’s warning, he was not able to rule over it. He killed Abel his brother in his burning anger and jealousy.
The very first son of the earth was also the very first murderer. As Cain’s parents were banished from the garden of Eden and from the presence of God, so was Cain, now a vagabond. This was the fruit of Adam’s sin. Man was unable to save himself.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— (Rom. 5:12)
But God, in His everlasting mercy and wisdom, had foreplanned the salvation of mankind. Through His Son Jesus Christ our Savior, He has called us unto His presence once again, no longer vagabonds, wandering from place to place, lost. Now, we, the blessed recipients of His amazing grace, must also offer of ours and of ourselves to God. Do we do well as Abel did?
As we give of ours (tithes and love offerings) and of ourselves (praise and thanksgiving, prayer and fasting, service), what is the state of our hearts? Of our whole beings? For this God considers.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1)
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