How it started I don’t know. Perhaps in the course of conversation God gave the idea to Adam’s family. Nothing is stated in Genesis 1-3 about God asking anyone to bring Him offerings. Yet, for some reason, Cain brought to the Lord some of the fruits of his land. His brother Able presented fat portions from the firstborn of his flock. “And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent” (Gen. 4:4,5).
Cain’s face revealed his poor attitude. God asked him why he was upset and then gave him profound advice.
Genesis 4:7-- If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Many Christians wonder why God seems unfavorable towards them. They claim allegiance to Him yet His blessing always seems to fall on someone else. The implication is that He is fickle and resentment starts to simmer. Cain brought God an offering. Hmmm—that seems like a nice thing to do. So, why was God unimpressed? Evidently, something was not right. Perhaps he grabbed fruit (any ol’ fruit) from the trees or plants he tended and plopped them before the Lord—a simple action that took little time or effort. Something about his attitude or action did not please God. In contrast, his brother’s offering required preparation and sacrifice. Able gave the best of what he had.
Is it possible that we do not have God’s favor because we offer Him shoddy gifts? Do we give Him ourtime or resources only when it is convenient and even then grudgingly? Do we compare ourselves with others and work from a self-centered foundation? Just because we are not sinning does not mean we earn God’s favor. One can live in compliance with the law and not hunger for God. One can be giving and yet possess a hard heart. You see we can be Christians in name but have little heart for Christ. If our motives are wrong is it any surprise that God’s favor is absent! Cain couldn’t find a satisfying relationship with his Father. He let bitterness and a jealous spirit lead to murder and lying. It all started with a substandard offering.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). Do you long for God’s favor? Then give him your heart. Stop holding back—let go of convenience and embrace the cross. You’ll find love waiting outside an empty tomb. The One who gave Himself for you, gave all He had—something to think about . . . in reveration.
What I resent reveals who governs me.—Oswald Chambers in Disciples Indeed
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)