If you have been following this blog for the last week, you may have noticed a pattern. 🙂 Let’s take a look and see if we can learn 3 things from the 4th chapter of Genesis.
God rewards faith in offerings.
The account of Genesis doesn’t tell us exactly what the problem was with Cain’s offering. While a sin offering would require blood as written in the law Moses gave, we do not know if this was an offering of sin or thanksgiving or some other purpose. It is therefore speculative to say that Cain’s offering was rejected because it wasn’t an animal sacrifice.
There is one clue in the wording in the chapter that might give us some insight. Abel brought from the firstborn and the fat portions. Cain, it is said, ‘brought an offering’. In all of the offerings I am aware of, God always wanted the first and the best. We show our trust in God when we offer what we earn first and then also the best of what we earn.
Of course, later on, the writer of the book of Hebrews sheds more light.
Heb 11:4 ESV By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
Abel offered his sacrifice by faith, Cain apparently did not. Now we sometimes think of faith as just a belief. However, Faith most of the time involves the belief and the action that is based on that belief. If Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) then we can believe that God TOLD them what to offer, how to offering and if it mattered, what time to offer the sacrifice. Abel listened and obeyed, Cain did not.
The second greatest commandment is first violated.
While we didn’t touch on the Greatest commandment, that of loving God with your whole heart, soul, and mind in chapter 3, it was clearly broken by the sin of Adam and Eve. In this chapter, the 2nd greatest commandment which is to Love our neighbor as our self, is broken. Cain clearly brakes it with the murder of Abel.
Later on, one of Cain’s descendants, Lamech, will boast about killing a young man simply because he wounded Lamech. What low value human life was beginning to have. From made in God’s image to being destroyed by fellow man.
Calling on the Lord is a new beginning.
At the end of the chapter, Eve has another son named Seth. It is through Seth that the genealogy of Jesus comes. It was in those days that people began to call on the name of the Lord. Perhaps it was the recognition that they could not control themselves, perhaps that sin was a constant threat: even that sin had mastered them. But one thing is for sure, when a person calls on the name of the Lord, he will be helped. There is hope in the last of the 4th chapter.
What do you see in Genesis chapter 4?