“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” (Hebrews 11:4)
Pride is bred within the bone of mankind; and from the beginning, mankind has been trying to do things his own way. The problem with that is we’ve always failed and we will continue to fail as long as we follow our own counsel. Without God’s direction, man is a lost child in a forest of confusion.
Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). May God give us the grace and enlighten the eyes of our understanding so that we may see the wisdom of God’s way.
Abel was no fool and he knew that he couldn’t approach his God without something to offer. Cain had a bit of wisdom himself and knew the same, but something was a bit perverse with what he chose to offer God.
Number 1: Cain’s heart wasn’t right. Israel, God’s chosen people, came to the point in their religious devotions to God where He considered their righteousness as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Isaiah, the great prophet of God, told them, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting” (Isaiah 1:13). Their religious dedications to God were not acceptable because their heart wasn’t right. So is the case with Abel’s brother Cain. His heart was wicked.
Number 2: Cain’s works were tainted. It’s a very prideful notion to think that what we have to offer God is acceptable apart from a blood sacrifice. Cain felt as if God would delight in the fruit of his own labor. “Surely He must accept it. In the sweat of my face, I’ve labored to bring forth the fruit of the earth. I hoed the ground; I watered it when the clouds showed me no favor, and it took me days to gather the crop. Yes, He will enjoy the work of my hands.” TAINTED, TAINTED, TAINTED with selfish desire! Abel’s gift was accepted because he trusted in God’s provision; Cain’s was rejected because he leaned on his own works.
Number 3: Cain had no love in his heart, because he was a tare of the field. Jesus said an enemy hath done this (Matthew 13:25). This is a great mystery, but a fact of Scripture. Cain was none of His. John said “… we should love one another. 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” (1 John 3:11-12).
Cain chose his own way, and his own way destroyed his blessings. He was a castaway, not accepted, but rejected. Abel on the other hand chose God’s way, the way of the cross; “… And without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
Let’s not take lightly the Doctrine of the Cross. Satan is a deceiver and he will beguile us to go our own way, as he did Cain. But the saints of the most high God are not ignorant of his devices, AMEN (2 Corinthians 2:11).
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11)
Surely this verse testifies of Abel!