The Lord accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. (Genesis 4:4-5)
As I was reading in Genesis the above verses caught my attention. The first question that entered my mind was: Why did God accept Abel’s offering and reject the offering of Cain? Didn’t they both bring the best they could to God?
Several factors are involved in the two offerings and the motives behind them. First of all, Abel brought a pre-approved offering. It is obvious from the context in Genesis chapters three and four that God had instructed the Adam’s family what kind of offerings he would accept. Abel was obedient and brought a sacrificial lamb, but Cain was disobedient and brought an offering that was the product of human effort—an offering of works. God was not about to accept an offering that reflected upon man’s achievements and elevated man to a place of prominence instead of the Creator. Cain may have thought that he was giving God his best when, in fact, he was offering his worst.
Secondly, there is the matter of attitude in the offerings presented. Abel came humbly before God with an offering that revealed a subservient attitude. Cain, on the other hand, brought an offering revealing an attitude of arrogance and pride. The Scripture is very clear when it says that “pride goes before a fall”. Cain fell right off his arrogant perch and landed in humiliation and shame.
God said to Cain, “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Gen. 4:6-7 NLT)
What kind of offering are you bringing to the Lord? Are you giving him your best? Is your motive pure? Is it an offering that you know in your heart God will approve and accept? Or are you bringing an offering reflecting pride and your achievements? The Scripture is clear when it says, “God will not share His glory.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me always bring to you a sacrifice well pleasing to you.