I used to be very confused when I read the story of Cain and Abel because I just couldn’t really comprehend the difference between Cain’s sacrifice and Abel’s.
If you’re like me, I hope this post gives you the clarity that I received.
Now Abel kept the flocks, and Cain worked the soul. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.Genesis 4: 2-5 NIV
Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.Genesis 4:3-5 MSG
‘One day, Cain gave part of his harvest to the Lord , and Abel also gave an offering to the Lord . He killed the first-born lamb from one of his sheep and gave the Lord the best parts of it. The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, but not with Cain and his offering.Genesis 4:2-5 CEV
Your probably reading this and are thinking, I don’t know what confused you Ahastery, it’s pretty clear on here the difference between Cain and Abel. Trust me, now I see it clear as day and do feel a bit brainless about not having seen it before. But please bear with me as I explain it to others that were like me and don’t see the difference yet between the brothers’ offerings.
Please allow me to guide you to this specific words used to described Cain’s offering: some, part of. Meaning, that Cain didn’t bring the fullness of his harvest to God. Mind you, tithing doesn’t exist yet and this is the first time we’re ever hearing of any type of offering being brought up to God, so I never put those key words to mind because I didn’t really think it mattered since there wasn’t any preset amount that the offering had to be.
Before I dive further into my new understanding, let’s see what it’s used to describe Abel’s offering: fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock, the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat, the first-born lamb from one of his sheep and gave the Lord the best parts of it. I’m sure you’re noticing a trend here.
That’s the different between Cain and Abel’s offerings. Cain pretty much just gave God the leftovers you can say. It’s as if offering to God was an afterthought; ‘here’s my portion, here’s my parents’ portion, here’s my brother’s portion, oh I’ve got some left over, let me go and give it to God.’ While Abel came and gave God the first born, the very best. It wasn’t an afterthought; Abel’s choice offering demonstrated that he acknowledge it is God who blesses him.
This is why God favored Abel’s offering and not Cain’s.
And this happens in our daily lives too.
Do you tithe? The majority of the congregation will say yes.
When the ‘yes’ begin to decline is when we go deeper and ask, do you tithe before or after paying your bills?
Did you know you’re supposed to tithe from your Net Worth, as in prior to taxes not after taxes?
Now you do.
When we give God what is due to Him first, before we put any money towards our bills or our savings, we are behaving like Abel. We are telling God we know that what we have is Yours, that it was given to us by You and as such we are giving back to You what is due to You. Putting God above our bills is telling Him that we believe He is our provider and that we trust Him to provide and take care of us – keeping a roof over our heads, water, electricity, food on our table, etc.
When we don’t tithe from the firsts of our fruits we become like Cain. We may think we’re not doing anything wrong because we are giving God an offering at the end of the day, but it’s not the physical offering that God wants, it is our hearts, for where our heart is there our treasure will also be. God wants us to tithe because He wants our hearts. That is why it’s not how much you give, but your heart behind it. If you’re heart behind your tithing is acknowledging God’s sovereignty over your life, then you won’t look at how much you’re giving. But when you’re thoughts go to how much of a loss this money will be to your bills, you just because Cain.
Let me know your thoughts on this, I’d love to heart them!