As stated last week we are going to take a journey through the men and women of faith in the scriptures and find out through their examples how YHVH revealed His will. When I started this study I thought I would start with Abraham, after all, He is the picture of the Father of our Faith, but upon further thought it made more sense to me to start this discussion with Cain and Abel. I could have started with Adam and Eve, but I chose not to because Adam and Eve’s story presents humanity in a state that from the beginning was in the image and likeness of Elohim and we inherited the fallen Adam’s state, until we are born again where we then enter back into the Kingdom of God. The text is clear, that Adam wasn’t deceived in the transgression he knew quite well what the will of God was, and it was simple enough you can eat from any tree, but one. (1 Tim 2:14) Once he made that decision his eyes were opened and fear entered in. A man, who was once naked and unashamed, became fearful and riddled by shame. His liberty became tainted because of sin. A man, who was once confident in walking in obedience with God, became fearful when outside of that. Which is the same today, when we are walking with God there is confidence to come before Him, when we are not then there is fear to come before Him.
This sentiment is what we see in the story of Cain and Abel. It came to pass in the process of time that both of them offered an offering unto YHVH. Though it is not implicitly stated the context reveals an understanding that scripture doesn’t spell out for us.
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 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. 4:2-7)
We know that one tilled the ground and the other kept the sheep. This used to puzzle me because I thought it only made sense that Cain would offer based on what he had to offer and since he tilled the ground he only had a grain offering to give. I have heard many people say it was because he didn’t give an animal as an offering and while I agree from the stand point of the only acceptable sin offering that can cover us is that which comes from an animal, it is also debatable that there could be another reason why his offering was not acceptable. I believe the issue is revealed in the specifics that are stated concerning Abel’s offering versus Cain’s offering. Notice that Cain’s offering was an offering of the “fruit of the ground” and Abel’s offering was “the firstlings of his flock with the fat thereof”. Cain’s offering appears to be just something he gave not necessarily the first of what he had. It’s the equivalent of giving God what you have left after a check rather than the first of your check or simply not giving him your first. It’s almost like saying you should be happy with whatever I give you, it also reveals whose first in your life. As Yahushah put it in Matt. 6:21 and Luke 12:34, Abel’s offering was clearly an offering from the heart and reflected a heart that wanted to serve God before himself. Many of us give God what’s left of us, hence we pray in the evening after we have spent our day the way we wanted, but give him no time in the morning to direct our day. In essence we are offering him what we have left and we are putting what we want first. Lord knows I am convicted, my morning prayer life has been many a day hit and miss, less faithful than it ought to be, but rest assured those days indeed my blessing was missed.
Questions to Ponder this week?
1. Are you giving Yah the first of your time, talent, and treasure or does He get what you have left?
2. Like Cain do you find yourself envious of others who are prospering in their walk of faith, and do you secretly desire that somehow they would stop prospering? If so repent, this is the Spirit of Cain and that was the response the Almighty gave him. (Gen. 4:7-8)
3. Assess the time, talent, and treasure that God has given you and start with committing to give God time every morning when you wake up. Read his word and ask for his counsel in directing your day. By doing so you are giving Him the first of your life and the fullness (fat thereof) of your life to direct.