Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice, yet rejected Cain’s sacrifice – leading to the 1st recorded murder in Genesis chapter 4? Let’s take a closer look as we continue our journey through the Bible this year.
God Rejects Cain’s Sacrifice
Genesis 4:2-5 reads:
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 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.
I don’t see implied anywhere that God rejected offerings of produce and favored animal sacrifice in this or previous text. In fact, I don’t see any instructions on how to sacrifice to God – up to and including this point in human history. So what exactly would cause God to reject Cain’s sacrifice? In the Hebrew it literally says that God looked at Abel and his sacrifice, but didn’t look at Cain and his.
There is a clue as to why found in the book of Hebrews:
- By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice – Heb. 11:4
What does the writer mean when he says that his sacrifice was offered by faith? We find the answer in the book of Romans:
- Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God – Rom. 10:17
By Faith Abel Offered A Better Sacrifice
God tells us exactly what will please him. He doesn’t do what I do – which is like when my wife says “I’m going to the store. Do want want me to get you something?” And I’ll answer, “Yeah. Bring me back something nice!”
God didn’t say, “You two – sons of Adam. Bring me something nice. And it had better be good.” Only to look them over and say “Yes. Yes. Very nice.” And then “Oh, no. I don’t like that at all.”
No. By faith – by the word of God – Abel offered a pleasing sacrifice to The Lord. An offering given in the way that he was instructed. Implied in the text is that Cain, rather than presenting his offering in the manner prescribed by God, offered his sacrifice HIS own way. Which was contrary to God’s word and therefore was not done in faith. And that is why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice.
Yeah. It’s in the Bible.
Watch the previous episode, Who Made The 1st Sacrifice.
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QUESTION: What is the difference between “Biblical faith” and “blind faith?” Let us know in the comments below.