Posted On February 3, 2022

Cain and His Offering

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Featured, Genesis

Genesis 4:3-5, “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.”

In courtship, the devotion potential brides and grooms have for one another is remarkable. A woman will spend hours picking out the perfect dress, diligently striving to make herself as beautiful as possible for her suitor. The man picks through bunches of flowers to find a rose without blemish or spends hours writing the right love note for the girl who has captured his heart.

If such attention to our present or future spouses is approved by Scripture (Song of Solomon), how much more must we offer our best to the One who died for us (Gal. 2:20)? But sadly, we often give what is lesser to the Lord. Today’s passage indicates that the propensity to worship God half-heartedly has been with us since Adam’s fall.

Continuing the story of the first family, Moses describes the worship expressed by Cain and Abel. Our sovereign Creator “had regard” for Abel’s sacrifice of the firstborn of his flock, while He did not approve of the elder brother’s gift of produce (Gen. 4:3–5a). Many have said God disregarded Cain’s offering because it was not a blood sacrifice. However, this interpretation is problematic, mainly because the Lord did accept grain offerings on many occasions (Lev. 2) and because the poorest in Israel could have their sins atoned by them (5:11–13).

Moses’ note that Abel offered the firstborn of his flock with no corresponding mention of Cain’s gift as the firstfruits of his harvest (Gen. 4:3–4a) tells us God ignored Cain’s sacrifice because it was not the first and best of his work. His heart was not wholly consecrated to the Lord, and thus he kept the choicest of his labor from God — a lack of faith unambiguous in the New Testament (Heb. 11:4). Cain’s wicked heart, manifested more clearly in his murder of Abel, is first observable in his formal yet faithless worship (1 John 3:11–15).

Vainly do we assume our devotion is acceptable if it is done without faith. As Abel’s example proves, true worshipers will give the first and best of their time, money, and possessions to God. And though it is possible to give of our firstfruits without a heart for the Lord, faith without real sacrifice is shown to be wanting (James 2:14–26).

Coram Deo

John Calvin comments on today’s verses, writing that when God sees false worship, “combined with gross and manifest mockery of himself, it is not surprising that he hates it and is unable to bear it.” If we do not give that which is costly, the Lord is not pleased with our praise. Do you freely give of your time, money, and efforts to the spread of the Gospel? This week, forego a discretionary expense and give the money to a missionary, church, or another Christian work.

Cain and His Offering, Copyright (2022), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 5/16/2022-5/21/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...

Cut Off

Cut Off

Genesis 17:14, “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Though there is a certain priority given to Abraham’s natural seed (see Gen. 17:21), from the beginning it is clear...

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Did God Really Know Me Before I Was Born? What You'll Hear on this Episode What the Bible Teaches About Life. Helping the Church Be About Life. We Are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” But Need Redemption from...

Why We Need the Puritans

Why We Need the Puritans

Who the Puritans Really Were Horse racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider following. Pillorying the Puritans, in particular, has long been a popular pastime both sides of the Atlantic, and most people’s image of...

Native and Foreigner

Native and Foreigner

Genesis 17:11-13, “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Tweet5
Email
Reddit
Share