Why did God reject Cain's sacrafice in Genesis 4?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by cdg, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. cdg

    cdg
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    Why did God reject Cain's sacrafice? Today, I saw on the history channel(this is probably a bad source for a topic but anyway) a documentary on the life of Cain. They talked about some supposed "mysteries" in the life of Cain. Like, why did God reject Cain's sacrafice and accept Abel's sacrafice. Someone on the show said it was so because Cain didnt give his best to God and Abel did. Another said the sacrafice was not accepted by God because Cain was evil so his sacafice would not be accepted by God. I have my own idea of why God did not accept Cain's sacrafice but I would like to see if anyone else is thinking the same thing as I am. So if anyone has an idea on the subject, please give me some light. Thank you.
     
  2. LandonL

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    I actually watched part of that. The History Channel is usually spot-on, but it makes me laugh when they try to tackle Biblical topics.

    Anyway, we can only speculate. I suspect it is because Cain harbored some sin in his heart, but as I said, that's only speculation.

    Respectfully,
    --Landon
     
  3. cdg

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    Me too, Landon. I always find their ideas about the Bible erring. Dont you wish they would ask someone we agree with, but of course then it wouldnt be the history channel. I think the same thing when I see what some people say about the passion of the Christ, they seem to miss the whole point(they are lost though, I guess, what else can they do?).
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Two thoughts (and thoughts only)
    1) Abel gave of the best, Cain just gave a sacrifice
    2) Abel's sacrifice required the shedding of blood.
     
  5. Pete

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    I did a couple of hours digging for this question before doing a Sunday school lesson a few years ago.

    I second Christ4Kildare's thoughts on it in order of appearance [​IMG]
     
  6. Watchman

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    Anything I say here would be conjecture, but I will try to give the best guess I can. One thing that is obvious in this story was that Cain was very self-centered. Even after he was confronted by God after killing his brother he, not only did not show any repentence or remorse, but was only concerned with himself and his punishment God had given him.
    So it would seem to me that perhaps Abel cared about God, that is, how to please Him; while Cain cared about Cain. Another words it was the motives of these two. Abel's sacrifice was offered in faith and love for God and Cain's was offered to make a big show. All of this and, considering that Cain is elsewhere said to be "evil" by the inspired writer, it is virtually impossible that we will find Cain to be among the Old Testament saints
    Now, (and this is a bit off topic, sorry, but this is a great oppurtunity to make a point) that said, do we say here that God chose Abel and refused Cain? That is impossible:
    (God speaking to Cain) "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" Gen. 4:7a In this context, there is only one possible answer: yes.
    So, while God foreknew what would happen, it was not predetermined by Him that Abel WILL be saved and Cain WILL be lost.
    IMHO, Cain is one of the chief reasons that I reject Calvinism.
     
  7. blackbird

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    Able was obedient in giving exactly what was required---bloody sacrifice by faith looking forward to the day Messiah would come---in Abel's sacrifice he was by faith saying, "Messiah is coming and when He gets here this is what He's going to do with His life!" By faith, Abel was saying, "This is Messiah's best! When He comes He's going to give His best!"----by faith, Abel received coming Messiah's best.

    Cain disobeyed in not giving exactly what was required. Cain gave an offering from a cursed ground.----he worked and toiled by the sweat of his brow to bring his best----which in God's sight was "filthy rags"---Cain fell short of the glory of God. Cain gave the best he had--instead of receiving by faith Messiah's best!

    Lots of people still today---go the "way of Cain"
     
  8. HankD

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    Amen to Blackbird's response...

    Hebrews 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.

    Cain did not offer it in faith, without faith it is impossible to please God.
     
  9. Pete

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    Same Hebrew word (minchah) used in verse 3 and 4 for "offering".

    From Strongs: 4503. minchah, min-khaw'; from an unused root mean. to apportion, i.e. bestow; a donation; euphem. tribute; spec. a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary):--gift, oblation, (meat) offering, present, sacrifice.

    Other occasions where minchah is used and translated as gift/present: Gen 32:13, 18, 20-21, 33:10, 43:15, 25-6...

    I think this & HankD's refernce from Hebrews 11:4 points to Cain's attitude being the factor.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    NT word for sacrifice is thou-is (from thou-o) which means "to sacrifice (by fire); by extension, to immolate (slaughter for any purpose):-- translated kill, (do) sacrifice, slay."

    Hard to 'kill' a turnip or zucchini. Would LIKE to . . [​IMG]
     
  11. donnA

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    The history channel is good if you want to learn history, but if you want to know anything about the bible it isn't good for that. Their opinions are not biblically based but worldly based lacking any faith at all in th truth of scripture.
     
  12. KimS

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    I love the History Channel but they do offer some odd explanations when it comes to biblical things. Did you also watch the show about the holy grail that was also on yesterday? One theory was that the holy grail is a bloodline. Jesus married Mary Magdelene and their descendents are walking among us.

    Kim
     
  13. cdg

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    KimS, I didnt see that about the holy grail yesterday, but I have seen the like(maybe the same) before, I am not sure but it must have been on the history channel. Completely false and without Biblical basis, but what can we expect from lost people.
    About Cain...
    Maybe all we can say about it will be conjecture. BUT, I think from Scripture we can get a clear idea if not a hint. Hebrews 11:24- a more excellent sacrafice by Abel. You may agree or not agree with my view it is ok either way.

    Jude 11-"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."
    From this Scripture, I think one can see the mistakes of each of these men, Cain went against God's way of salvation, Balaam against God's people, and Core against God's man. Each one indirectly went against God. Cain sought the acceptence of God by his works(fruit). Abel killed an innocent lamb out of his flock, innocent blood was shed for his sin, Cain tried to work his way and was not accepted by God. One may say blood offerings, in fact no offerings were instituted at this time, that may be true, but this is the only offering recorded with Cain and Abel. This is their one apparent opportunity to be saved(to be accepted by God) or maybe just their first opportunity(we none truly know). Either way Cain is hardened against God not expecting his offering to be rejected and he kills his brother, and God turns him over to be a reprobate. No example? The only previous example to this is when God sheds the blood of an innocent animal to make coats for Adam and Eve. I think the main point is Cain went to God with his fruit(works), Abel went to God with innocent blood. If Cain had been good hearted or not evil(which I think was impossible with his offering) or if he went with faith, then Cain would have been saved(accepted by God or reconciled to God) by his works(fruit of his labor) and Cain would have been the first and last person to be saved by works rather than by the blood. This thought just came to my mind, maybe this was the time when Cain and Abel came to the age or time of accountability and both are attempting to be saved. I dont know for sure. About the faith, I think Cain came with faith, I think he genuinely thought his sacrafice was going to be accepted by God, and when it wasnt he in wrath killed his brother. Its not always if we have faith but what and who it is in. Many people have faith but it is misdirected in a religion or cult or works as Cain was. Not if you have faith but in whom is your faith?
    Another thought related to Abel...
    In Hebrews 12:24 the Bible says of Christ's blood
    "...that speaketh better things than that of Abel." What do you think Abel's blood said? I think it cried out "Justice" ,but Christ's blood cried out "Mercy" and "forgive them". Cain received judgment because of Abel's blood but we receive mercy and salvation because of Christ's blood. Now on all of the matters spoken of by me, I have no problem if anyone or everyone disagrees, I understand I could be wrong and many times I have been wrong and many times to come I will be wong. Thank you for posting. I appreciate every reply.
     
  14. Watchman

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    Blackbird: Peace
    Commentaries I have seen have gone both ways: Cain's sacrifice was rejected because of his attitude, or it was rejected because it was the wrong type of sacrifice. One commentator took the position that BOTH are correct: His evil heart (attitude) led to a bad sacrifice. Now that may be a viable explaination. At any rate, I do not pick bones, or throw stones. Peace in love my brother.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    HOw do we know that Cain's offering was not rejected because of its bloodlessness?

    1. The Bible says no such thing. In fact, the Bible doesn't even say this was a sin offering. There were many OT sacrifices that were from teh fruit of the ground. There is no reason to think that this was not one of those.

    2. The Bible specifically addresses Cain's attitude in teh passage, his dejection and temptation to be dominated by sin.

    Therefore, it is better to conclude that God rejected it because of Cain's heart, not because of the sacrfices nature.

    There was a thread on this a couple of weeks ago, BTW.
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    Preach it brother! You’re telling it straight. :D

    Yep! That’s a clear word from God, not some speculation about blood sacrifices that is inconsistent with other parts of scripture.

    Amen! :D That’s sound, biblical theology.
     
  17. cdg

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    Bro. Larry,

    I respect your view. I didnt know there was a topic like this one a couple of weeks ago. I wasnt here. But I disagree, because right here is where Cain's fellowship with God ended. Right here Cain went from being lost and having hope to be being without hope and marked by God.

    Bible believer,
    I respect your view also, but that's not clear from the word of God or probably(most everyone) would have to agree. We woundnt have had this thread. In Hebrews 11:4 the Bible speaks of Abel's sacrafice and says "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrafice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous..." The Bible at least here majors on the sacrafice. It didnt say Abel offered up a more excellent attitude than Cain. In fact, attitudes change, for example, one day one might have a good attitude and another day a bad attitude(We all hope that a saved person has a good attitude more than a bad). But an attitude may change, my acceptance or rejection by God, I hope, is based more than on my attitude on a particular day. If this is true my attitude saved me. (Given, if one is to be saved he will have a repentent and sober attitude but the main thing God is looking for is not an attitude, God said when I see the blood I will pass over you not when I see your good attitude I will pass over you). Back to the the main thing. Yes, many Old Testament sacrafices were accepted without blood, but it is also true that when God accepts or rejects men(as He was doing here with Cain and Abel) God does it in relation to blood and not to barley. No one(correct me if I am wrong) was ever saved or accepted in God's sight but through the blood. That is throughout the Bible. Cain and Abel were saved or rejected right here. They were saved or lost. Hebrews says that almost all things are purged through the shedding of blood. And also.. that without the shedding of blood no remission of sins. This offering as far as I can tell determined their acceptance or rejection with God, certainly it was a sin offering. How can a man go to God if his sin is not covered by blood? Not that this was Cain's only opportunity, he could have made a right sacrafice but he did not. Also from Jude 11 as I mentioned before Cain, Balaam, and Core are all mentioned and their rebellion against God. In each case each one rebelled in a different way, Ballam-against the chosen people of God, Core-against the chosen man of God, and Cain-against the way of salvation of God. Cain tried to work his way to God and it was not accepted. He did not rebell against God's chosen good attitude. It is clear we will disagree(and have already). This is fine. We all are still brothers and sisters in Christ. And I know that I have certainly not attained. Well, I hope we all get more light and more understanding from this thread. Again, thank you for posting and giving me much food for thought.
    Have you ever thought, Abel became the first martyr? He was the first one to die for his faith.
     

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