July 22, 2021 –
As I read Genesis 4:3-5, I am perplexed why Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God and his brother Cain’s was rejected.
Bible scholars offer several reasons God did not accept Cain’s sacrifice of some of his crops, while God accepted his brother Abel’s sacrifice of the fat portions of the firstborn lambs. Abel’s sacrifice included blood, which represents life. Able’s sacrifice was from the best part of the lamb, while Cain’s sacrifice comprised only some randomly chosen vegetation.
Jesus delivered a powerful message regarding almsgiving in the book of Matthew. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (Matthew 5:23, 24)
I believe the reason Cain’s offering of fruit and grain, and Abel offering of fresh meat from his flock, was not the sacrifice itself. Able had a fault against his brother, and Cain refused to go to Able and tell him his fault and try to resolve their differences. Able may have been unaware of his sin against Cain. So, the one sinned against needed to take the initiative and attempt to resolve the issue.
God pointed this out to Cain by rejecting his sacrifice. Cain reacted with jealous anger, resulting in a murderous act.
Four steps to take before you attempt to bring your offering to God:
- Be sure you have no ill will against anyone.
- Should you discover you have an ill will; or any exists in another’s heart, you must leave your gift or act of worship before the altar and attempt to remove it.
- Remember, God is love, and He cannot accept a vengeful and unkind heart or does not revive the love in the heart of another.
Follow Jesus’ advice on forgiveness.