When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord, Abel also brought a gift – the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. (Genesis 4:2b-4)
Cain experimented by trying to find a new way to God. Cain knew that God required a blood sacrifice. Cain knew what was required to be right with God. His experiment was to try a grain sacrifice, one from his own fields. Surely God would be pleased with his work. On the outside it seemed like Cain was doing a good thing alongside his brother. He was worshiping God by offering a sacrifice to Him.
Abel brought in a lamb and sacrificed it. We know from the book of Hebrews that faith accompanied his sacrifice (Hebrews 11:4). Abel was not any better than Cain. But he knew what God wanted. He knew what God expected. He knew the way to God was through a blood sacrifice. It was the only way he received forgiveness and got connected to God.
When Cain brought some produce from the labor of his hands as a sacrifice, it was his experiment. He brought the fruit because it was the work of his life. He was proud of it. The experimental sacrifice was laid out there for God to accept. The burning question in Cain was, “Can I find God through the work of my own hands?” The answer was a resounding “No!”
The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. (Genesis 4:4-5)
We are all tempted to make our own way to God. We work at it, believing that God will look kindly on our work. We all do good things but all of our good works cannot replace the blood sacrifice. This story clearly points us to the Lamb of God. It is not our work, but His sacrifice that connects us to the Living God. No need to try another way. Jesus, the Lamb of God, said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
There is no need to experiment with your life. God’s way leads to real life. Trust Him today and find your way.
“When Cain brought some produce from the labor of his hands as a sacrifice, it was his experiment.” After reading this section, are there things that come to mind that you have been experimenting with in your relationship with God?
Hebrews 11:4 reads “It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did.” From what we read in Hebrews 11:1, it seems Abel had confidence about what he hoped for and assurance about things he could not see. How is your faith when things are going smoothly? How is it when things are not going as planned?
Abel was obedient to what God wanted him to do because of his faith. Read Hebrews 11:1 as a family. Can you think of a time or situation when you believe you received an answer to something you hoped for because of your faith?
Our devotion series this week is adapted from the new book ‘Tale of Two Brothers’ by Dan & Ron Kellogg. Find out more and purchase the book here! You can get the book FREE on Monday, 09/26 and every Sunday from 09/25-10/16 on Amazon Kindle. Don’t miss out on this free download!