Cain Kills Abel
Adam and Eve had two sons and they each had different interests. Cain, the older brother, loved gardening while Abel the younger one, loved animals. When it was time for them to make offerings to God, Cain brought some of his crops and Abel brought some of the first-born animals from his flocks. For some reason, God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, but not with Cain’s. Why? What did Cain do wrong?
Did it have something to do with the TYPE of offering he brought? He had picked some of the fruits from his garden, but Abel had killed a lamb. Was a blood sacrifice required? Come to think of it, when God made the very first sacrifice in order to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, He had killed an animal. Was shedding blood the criterion for all offerings?
It’s important to note that the Hebrew word (minchah) used in this passage does not imply that this had to be a sacrifice; it was to be an offering, a tribute, a gift. Throughout the Bible many types of offerings were acceptable, including grain offerings. So the fact that Cain brought fruits and vegetables is likely not the real problem.
Was it perhaps because of the QUALITY of the offering? Cain offered “some of the fruits,” while Abel offered “fat portions” (the very best part of the animal) “from some of the firstborn.” There is definitely a difference in value based on the descriptions, but still we cannot be certain that this was the reason God rejected Cain’s gift.
Could acceptance have been based on the HEART of the person making the offering? The New Testament provides the best insight. Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” It was Abel’s faith that brought God pleasure. His offering was not just a ritual sacrifice. He was signifying his love and trust in God.
Cain’s actions, on the other hand, were not much more than a performance. 1 John 3:12 says, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.” Cain’s heart was certainly not in the right place when he made his offering.
Despite his shortcomings, God lovingly gave Cain a chance to make things right. But instead, Cain stubbornly grew resentful. He allowed sin to take over. His pride turned into anger, and his anger led to murder. Regardless of his initial understanding of the type of offering he was supposed to bring, Cain was not at all sorry when he was told he had gotten it wrong. He wanted to live life his own way rather than God’s way.
How do you react when you are confronted with something you have done incorrectly?
Are you able to repent and seek forgiveness and restoration?
Do you ask God to give you wisdom, or do you allow your pride to get in the way like Cain did?