This week we’re studying the story of Cain & Abel, brothers who both offered gifts to God – one from a field, one from a flock.
We’re going to try and explore why Cain’s vegetarian offering did not please God. It’s not that God is against vegetarianism. It seems to be that something about Cain and his motives, his heart, that is wrong. The offering is just an external sign of what’s happening in his heart.
An offering is an acknowledgement of our sin, our failure and rebellion against God, and that this has a very real price.
God gave us life. When we reject him, we reject the life he gave us (and sustains), and the consequence is death, naturally enough. An offering is a temporary substitution – let this lamb die instead of me. It’s like buying time while still acknowledging sin leads to death.
Here’s what the Bible said: 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.
There is a slight grammatical difference with big meaning. Cain brought “an offering”. No specifics given…just some stuff from his farm.
Abel brought his best: the firstborn lamb.
God wants our best – not the leftovers, the random bits. The very best, up front, the fat portions.
Cain’s offering suggests he is less than fully devoted to God who gave him life, and sustains him despite humanity’s fall.
Now, once again, this seems more like an epic fail than a noble chapter in an epic story.
We’ll encounter a lot of these frustrating stories of violence, conflict, disaster, war. Where is the hope? Where is Jesus?
Question: Where is Jesus in the story?