Cain And Abel

The man went into the restaurant and said, “Do you serve crabs here?”And the waiter said, “Why, yes sir, we serve anybody here.” (Source Unknown). … More

Attitude

In this chapter we find the perpetual struggles between good and evil. The nature of rebellious man unfolds in the person of Cain while Abel seems to be a man trying to please God. Through the years much discussion has centered around the offerings of Cain and Abel and why the one was accepted and the other rejected. Many contend that God had commanded Cain and Abel to give offerings, and that He specifically required a blood sacrifice. However, there is no  record  where God prior to this time required a blood sacrifice, or even any sacrifice at all. If He didn’t, then there must be another reason for why God accepted the one and rejected the other.

“Cain brought of the fruit of the ground” (v. 3) where­as “Abel brought of the firstling of his flock” (v. 4). This indicated that Abel went out of his way to please God while Cain was simply discharging a duty. This then is dealing with attitude of heart. Abel’s actions were righteous whereas Cain’s were evil (I John 3:12). Cain’s true attitude shows up in his response to God’s rejection of his offering. God approaches Cain in love, asking him to see the relationship between his present state of anger and depression and to reverse this trend by proper conduct. God warns Cain that if he doesn’t respond correctly sin is like a lion waiting for an opportunity to devour him. Cain ignores God and continues to be angry, depressed and silent waiting for the proper time to murder his righteous brother Abel.

Cain’s religious attitude revealed:

1. Purely a humanistic scheme (vv. 1-2). It leads to the basic philosophy that salvation had to be earned, that it had to be merited, and purchased at the cost of one’s own effort and toil.

2. Purely a human sacrifice (vv. 3-4). His offering was undoubtedly costly. In fact it may have been more costly than Abel’s. It was the result of toil, effort, hard work and persistence.

3. Purely seeking humanistic satisfaction (vv. 5-7). It ignored the witness of the Spirit and  centered in pride. He thought it should please God because it cost him a great deal.

Application

Attitudes are important in my life. My pious thoughts, good works, religious rituals, and social actions are valueless apart for the finished work of Christ on the cross. My heart attitude is much more important than anything I say or do.

Genesis 4:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. 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. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

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