Genesis Chapter 4:
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Cain brought an offering unto the Lord, but it was not his best. It was just a product of his occupation.
Abel brought an offering, but it was the FIRSTLINGS of his flock, and the fat thereof. It would have had to of been planned and purposefully done. Abel would have to have over saw and protected the flock and possibly helped the birth of the firstlings. Once the animals were birthed they would have been set aside, special unto the offering for the Lord.
Cain worked and tilled the ground, not a bad thing, not something without significance. He could have brought an offering that had thought to it. As if God did not know his heart.
Before going on, I want to ask the question, what will this year be like for you? What kind of offering did you have in mind? Was it to give God your best, to purposefully serve the Lord. To give Him your first of energy, time and thought? To tithe? I realize it is sometimes more spiritual to spend time with my wife than do anything else, but I hope you see in the text what I’m saying.
Let’s look further:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
This portion of scripture that continues the narration, God is not talking about works here to Cain in terms of his own human ability that he’s going to be saved. It was the attitude, the heart and the actual commitment to God. To stay in covenant with God means to follow what He says. That’s the saving, the covenant. An easy yoke that this whole world can follow. But yet here we see, that sin overtakes those who do not give an acceptable offering. To NT people this looks like this: Not following the essentiality of Jesus’ name baptism and being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. Not living a holy life.
-We do not have to go to church this morning. -We are struggling to pay bills this month so we will not tithe. -I am going to overload my schedule and my children’s schedule with sports and groups and we will work with the church’s schedule, instead of letting everything be filtered through Jesus Christ and His church and the personal relationship with Him. I will go to church but my kids are going to do their homework and not go to kid’s church. I look at my pastor different than an anointed shepherd put over the souls of the church. (Forgive me I know there are circumstances that allow some of this.)
But Cain did not repent, He did not go back and get his best or wait on the firstling of the ground next season. God was benevolent throughout the entire encounter. He loved Cain.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
And here we see coming the ultimate price to be paid, after Cain kills his own brother. Your sin affects others and mostly those closest to you-Don’t ever forget that.
But here is the ultimate price:
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
God is omnipotent, every where, all the time. So what this means that when Cain left the “presence” of the Lord, he left his covenantal position. Instead of blessings and a relationship with God, he leaves with just the sad promise that as a marked man no one will kill him freely.
What kind of offering did you have in mind?
Get back to church if you’ve left. Start tithing. Start praying. Leave friends. Leave drugs. Put it all behind you. Your offering determines your covenantal position.