The Lesson of Cain and Abel – Offense, Part 2
There’s an interesting progression in Genesis, Chapter 4, between Abel and Cain, where the first murder occured. The progression that took place in Cain’s life, I think, is very common today. He offered the Lord a sacrifice from the first fruits of the ground. He was a farmer and he brought a sacrifice to the Lord of his crops. Abel, on the other hand, was a rancher, and he brought the sacrifice of an animal, which he offered to the Lord. There is actually a lot going on here. You won’t understand fully, unless you understand some of the words that are used. The passage says that God had regard for Abel’s sacrifice, but not for Cain’s. The reason is that, from the time of the fall (of man), the sacrifice required the shedding of blood to atone for sin. Cain brought an offering to God of the first fruits of the ground. So, God had regard for Abel’s offering. The word “regard” here, means “to gaze at with favor” or “to turn the face toward”. In other words, Abel’s sacrifice, the blood sacrifice, meant that God could turn toward Abel, fellowship with him, and accept him. This was a precursor of the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross, an atoning for sin. He could not accept Cain’s offering, because there was no blood sacrifice. So, Cain became really offended.
The Lord said several strong things to Cain. Let me paraphrase what He said, “Why are you acting this way, Cain? You know the rules. You know the way this works. If you want My gaze, if you want My acceptance, you have to do it this way.” In fact, He says to him in verse 7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?” That’s what this was all about. One was accepted. The other was rejected.
“It came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:3-5; NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Understand the conflict that will occur when God turns in favor toward those that accept the sacrifice of His Son. Those who don’t yet know Him will feel this tension.
Intercede for the salvation of the lost.
Ask the Lord to show you where you are trying hard to get God to accept you. He accepts you through the blood of His Son. Enter His Hebrews 4 rest!
Thank Him for saving you! Worship Him!
A prayer you can pray:
Father, my heart is overwhelmed with praises to You for You have done a wonderful thing! You have given every human being an opportunity to be regarded with favor by giving us Your Son, Jesus, as the ultimate blood sacrifice. We can choose to accept Him or not, but the sacrifice is made. Your face now turns toward those who receive that precious life laid down. It is more and more obvious that those not yet accepting that sacrifice see the difference. They feel the lack and don’t understand why they are so frustrated and angry. They lay traps for the godly and long to see us fall. Father, save them! Let us refrain from being offended by them, and love them to You, instead. It is not always easy. Sometimes we may feel like we want to hurt them back, find ways to punish or humiliate them, or make them eat their words, but this is not Your way. That’s the way of offense. Lord, keep us from picking up that bait, so they may see You in Your Church! Grace for the harvest, Jesus. Amen.
There is only one acceptable sacrifice by which we may be saved – that of Jesus. May we make Him known across our land!