Why did God have respect for Abel's offering and not Cain's?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by John3v36, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. John3v36

    John3v36
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    Why did God have respect for Abel's offering and not Cain's?

    Gen 4:4...And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
    5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. ...
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    I do not know of any 'absolute' scripture references that tell the story...

    But, there are inferences that Animal Sacrifice had already been instituted by God when He clothed Adam and Eve's nakedness with animal skins...

    (To get the skin an animal had to die.)

    Jesus intimates in both Matthew and Luke the Abel was just like any other prophet the rebellious have slain...

    John shares that jealousy was a possible cause
    Jude may also hold a clue:
    Cain had a wicked heart...

    It was greedy and jealous...

    Jealous that Abel did Righteousness in God's eyes and had God's favor...

    Yet, too greedy to sell/trade some of his crop to his brother to obtain a 'proper' sacrifice...
     
  3. Marcia

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    The answer is in Hebrews:
    Abel offered his sacrifice in faith and I think this implies Cain did not. For "without faith it is impossible to please God," (verse 6).
     
  4. A_Christian

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    Actually, I feel that BOTH Marcia & MadMan have given the reason very well. Both work together with scripture very well...
     
  5. Briguy

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    God sees the heart directly and Cain came to God with a heart that was not right. Abel however came to God with a right heart. ( I know that was close to what had been said). I say it to make a point when dealing with "works" getting us to Heaven, they just don't and haven't from the begining, it has always been by faith. It has always started with the condition of ones heart.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  6. Gup20

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    Hbr 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    1Jo 3:12 Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

    Hbr 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    I think Marcia is correct. Also see -

    Rom 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
    Rom 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    Rom 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    Jam 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    I would say that faith (what you believe) has everything to do with pleasing God. The ONLY way to please God... the only human thing that moves God is Faith (belief).

    If you look at Genesis you see that Cain brought of his fruit... but Abel brought HIS BEST to God... he brought the firstfruits of his flock.. and the fat of his flock... he brought the best of the best. He had faith that God would reward him for diligently seeking Him.... and God did.
     
  7. Kamoroso

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    "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground.
    And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
    Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
    "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."
    And Cain told Abel, his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." (Gen. 4:3-8)


    Here is the first account of religious persecution found in the bible. It clearly reveals the enmity that exists between those who are of God and those who are of the world. Let it be noticed that both Cain and Abel were religious, that is, they both believed in God, and they both brought an offering to Him. The difference between God's people and those of this world has nothing to do with whether they are religious or not, but rather, whom their religion has them put their faith in. There is only one who can save, there is no other gospel unto salvation other than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    It was faith in the Son of God that made Able's offering acceptable to Him. The lamb offered by Abel is a type and symbol of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God throughout the scriptures. The apostle Paul testifies to this, "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks." (Heb. 11:4) Abel believed in God's plan for his salvation, and this was reckoned unto him as righteousness.

    Cain's offering on the other hand, was not accepted by God, because it was not given by faith in the Lamb of God. The scriptures testify that Cain's deeds were not righteous, that is by faith in God, but were evil, coming forth from self trust.

    "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
    For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
    not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous." (1 Jn. 3:10-12)


    Cain's offering was not by faith in God, but rather of his own works. He thought that he could give an offering from the labor of his own hands.

    "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
    Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
    For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
    nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own.
    Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
    And in as much as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement,
    so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." (Heb. 9:22-28)


    There is no room for the plans, ideas, or works of men in God's plan of salvation. There is no glory for man, all the glory goes to God. Christ Jesus and Him crucified. Any attempt by man to obtain salvation by his own works will utterly fail.

    Cain knew what God's requirement was in regard to the offering, but instead of bringing a lamb, the symbol of Christ, he brought of the fruit of the ground. Very possibly the fruits that Cain brought were the products of his own labor, "but Cain was a tiller of the ground." (Gen. 4:2) Maybe he thought to bring the best that he could offer of the works of his hands, not understanding or accepting that man can play no part in salvation, for all his works are unrighteousness before God. The works of man come from self, they have a selfish motivation, in this case an attempt to exalt self, to make his own labors a part of salvation, which comes only from God. All the works of man are unacceptable to God.

    "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (Isa. 64:6)

    The only works that are acceptable to God are His works in us, they do not come forth from self, but from a desire to serve God.

    "For thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Ps. 51:16 & 17)


    Paul says, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom. 12:1)

    Cain could have followed Able's example, he could have sacrificed his own imaginings and followed God's instructions, by faith accepting His will. The only actions that are acceptable to God are those that are a result of faith, "and whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom. 14:23) When God gives a command we either trust and believe Him by following that command, or we trust our own thoughts and feelings more and do what they compel us to do. Cain, knowing what God required, chose to do otherwise. It could not have been faith in God that led him to do so, for God had not instructed him to do what he had done. Therefore his actions were not acceptable to God. Since he put his own ideas in the place where only God's belong, that is first in everything.

    Abel believed in God's plan for salvation, therefore his actions were in accordance with His will. He brought the proper offering because he believed God, and knew that he was saved, not in order to be saved. Abel's life and actions were a constant rebuke to Cain. They were a reminder that his own actions and deeds were not in accordance with God's will. This was the reason that Cain killed his brother and it is the same reason that God's servants have always been persecuted and killed by those of this world. Christ Himself was killed for the very same reason.

    The carnal heart is self centered and seeks its own glorification. Religion is fine with the carnal nature as long as self can be involved and share in its glory. It is when religion demands the complete sacrifice of self that the carnal nature has a problem. True religion, that is of Christ, and false religion cannot coexist without strife. Their underlying principles are antagonistic and cannot be reconciled. One allows the uplifting of self and the other demands the surrender of self. Moreover, the crucifixion of self. True godliness consists of selfless service for others as Christ demonstrated when here on earth as one of us.

    "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18 & 19)

    Christ's desire was to bring salvation to all, and we are commissioned to do the same. "And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" (Mark 16:15).

    However the heart that refuses to be converted is faced with a dilemma, it is in opposition to Christ likeness and is uncomfortable in its presence. It is a constant rebuke for the unconverted heart to be in the presence of a converted one. The unconverted heart is compelled to either change itself or to attempt to change the one who causes their guilt. This is when coercion or force usually come into play. The one who refuses to be converted must attempt to change those who are, or get rid of them altogether. This is what has been going on in this world since the fall. Cain obviously chose to remove the one whose presence rebuked his life.

    Coercion and force are tools of the devil. The life and death of Christ revealed God's intentions. He would rather die than force obedience from those He has created. If God believed in force then He would not have had to give His life in our place. He could have forced obedience from us or just recreated us so that we could not sin. The power of choice is a gift from God, and the price of this gift was the life of His Son.

    In the beginning, before the fall, Adam and Eve worshipped and served God by their own choice. The Lord put a tree in the garden and commanded them not to eat from it. This very act gave man the power of choice. If Adam and Eve were not aware that there was something that they could do that was contrary to God's will, then they would not have the power of choice. They would have done what was right and obeyed God simply because that was all they knew how to do. It is evident that God desires that His own worship and obey Him because they choose to, and not because they are incapable of doing otherwise.

    Bye for now. Y. b. in C. Keith
     
  8. Gup20

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    There is yet another possibility -

    Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;

    Is it possible that Able's offering was more pleasing because Cain was offering a cursed and corrupted gift, while Able's gift was pure and unmutated? God directly cursed the ground at the Fall, and Cain offered something that was a result of that curse (he tilled the ground and grew food for his offering). Cain's gift was a product or result of the death (the curse) that had been introduced to the world as a result of Adam's sin. This is why Cain's gift was not pleasing to God.

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Cain's gift represented the death in the world (part of the curse of the fall) that was a result of sin.

    Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    Cain tried to offer God something that was a result of sin.
     
  9. PastorGreg

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    Cain brought the wrong offering because he didn't have a heart of faith. Both the heart and the action were wrong. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." Abel's offering was a blood offering, offered in faith.
     
  10. Living4Him

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    Cain did not bring the wrong offering. God had not commanded that an animal be sacrificed in Genesis Chapter 3 or the first part of Chapter 4.

    Gen. 4:6-7 (KJV) And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    Gen. 4:6-7 (NAB)So the LORD said to Cain Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up your head; if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door; his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.

    Cain was a gardner, while his brother was a keeper of flock. Therefore, they both brought forth an offering from what they had.

    The Bible states that Abel brought one of his best firstlings. It only states that Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the soil.

    It could be that Cain didn't bring forth the best that he had.

    Ultimately it can down to giving from their heart and obiviously Cain didn't give joyfully and/or with a contrite heart because of the statement that the Lord said to him.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Both the grain and fruit offering AND the animal sacrifice are mentioned in Leviticus. BOTH were acceptable to God AND commanded by God. Israel offerred BOTH each year.

    However at the fall - they were specifically offering a "Sin offering". In Leviticus - the grain and first fruits offerings are never said to be "Sin offerings".

    In Lev 16 we have two goats in the Day of Atonement - but only ONE is called "The SIN offering" - it is the one ritually sacrificed.

    The sacrifice of the animal WAS ALWAYS essential to the "sin offering".

    Adam was REAL.

    Eve was REAL.

    Their two children were REAL.

    And they REALLY fell into sin -- and they REALLY needed to offer a REAL sin offering from that point on because the REAL Gospel pointed to the REAL coming of Christ and His REAL death for mankind.

    "really" - "literally" -- trustworthy in all of its "details".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. BobRyan

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    God told Cain that "SIN" was crouching at his door. But If we blindly assume that the Bible is an "exhaustive account" of every word spoken for the first 2500 years of human history -- then Cain "did not know that murder was sin" -- yet.

    In Gen 6-7 we see the Clean animals going in by 7 sevens and the unclean by twos -- But If we blindly assume that the Bible is an "exhaustive account" of every word spoken for the first 2500 years of human history -- then Noah did not "know" that there was even such a THING as Clean vs Unclean - let alone "What the difference was".

    In Genesis God says of Abraham "He kept My commandments, statutes and laws" - and the same phrase is used of Israel later in Exodus and Deut. However If we blindly assume that the Bible is an "exhaustive account" of every word spoken for the first 2500 years of human history -- then Abraham never knew about the Commandments or that it was wrong to take God's name in vain.

    Clearly Moses is writing Genesis and Moses knows his readers will ALSO have access to Exodus and Leviticus where these laws are explained.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Living4Him

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    I should have clarified, that Cain and Abel didn't present a "sin offering."

    They were giving an offering/tithe of what the Lord had given them.

    The Bible doen't state that were making a sin offering.
     
  14. Paul of Eugene

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    And it is also clear that God offered Cain a second chance; which Cain neglected. As far as Cain was concerned, what God wanted didn't really matter, but I don't think God wanted merely a correctly specified offering; Cain most definately lacked in his heart what God really wants from us all!

    "Am I my brother's keeper?" indeed! Alas, we can lie to each other, we can even decieve ourselves, but Cain tried to lie to God.

    No future in that.
     
  15. PastorGreg

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    "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." Heb. 11:4 Cain brought the wrong offering.
     

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