Understand the story of two brothers and their offering to the Lord.
Adam and Eve are the parents of Cain and Abel. The bible tells us “in process of time it came to pass” what does that mean? It came to pass after a while, or a long indefinite period of time. Remember that Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground. So, in a process of time passing by, Eve gave birth to Cain. She seemed to be happy, and said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord (Genesis 4:1).” Once again with a span of time, she bares his brother Abel. Do you understand that there was space between the birth of each child born? How long? The bible does tell us, but we know there was a process of time. I would only guess that the process is done “in sorrow,” by “The Curse” given to her (Genesis 3:16). Just like today, the conception turns into a pain bundle of joy!
Cain and Abel grow and were given chores. What did they do? “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was tiller of the ground (Genesis 4:2).”
Did Adam show his sons how to give an offering to the Lord? Giving is important to every believer. It is submitting a part of yourself to another. The Lord God was in communication with the Family (Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel). Adam and Cain’s job was to till the ground. Just like any son, Cain (and Abel) would watch his father, or they would work together. All were shown how to do what is expected in worship. Both sons could not bring an offering to God unless they were shown first. The bible does express this, but it is unspoken doing the process of time, and Lord God showing Adam how to make coats of skins to cover himself and his wife, Eve (Genesis 3:21). There were divine instructions given to them and the use and purpose of animals for sacrifice. Since God was present, the family had the perfect relationship with God and man. Worshipping God was something done by bringing offerings to Him.
Now “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord”. It was an act of worship. Can you say that this was Cain’s first time giving to the Lord? I don’t believe so because of Genesis 4:3, “And in process of time it came to pass.” In order words, one day Cain brought an offering to the Lord God, and Abel worshiped as well. “He also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.”
What happens next? What did the Lord say about their offerings? In Genesis 4:4b -5b, it states, “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.”
Many commentaries will advise that the Lord rejected Cain offering because of his attitude, plus it wasn’t a blood sacrifice like his brother, Abel. Please consider the differences that one brother was in faith and the other brother didn’t use his faith. Romans 14:23b tells us, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” It also suggests that obedience is better than a poor sacrifice. Let’s read about Samuel’s view about what God is expecting from us? “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).”
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).”
God will never accept sacrifices without faith. We are required to listen and believe to do the action according to the Word of God. Sometimes children miss the instructions by not listening and then get mad because they wanted to participate in the activity. If you are obedient in righteousness and walk in integrity, you will have faith in God. You will never be a child and have evil rage in your heart. “Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fallen?”
Now, a parent will have compassion, and explain to their child what he/she has done wrong. “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?” Was Cain listening to the Lord? By now, I hope you see that his heart was not pure. Just like a loving father, the Lord expresses, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”Luke 6:45, King James Version
Was grace extended to Cain? Yes, by giving him another chance to get it right before the Lord. He didn’t understand the message, because of his anger. Faith can not come (or be seen) if you do not obey the Word of God. Justification is led by the faith you hear. Remember faith is needed to worship acceptably to the Lord God.
You, God’s child, renew your mind by faith and take control of sin in your life. If Cain would have done this, he wouldn’t disregard the Lord’s message of mercy and love. Worship is the number one thing we must understand before bringing an offering to the Lord.
You can start today by studying the free bible study course called Are you worshipping in spirit and in truth? Study to show yourself approve unto God.