The difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s offering was faith. It was not what Cain offered to God. It was the way Cain offered to God. Abel had faith in what he offered and sacrificed. He believed in his offering. Able had faith his offering would please God. Hebrews 11:6 How many of us are confident what we OFFER AND SACRIFICE to God will please him?
Offering and Sacrifice
By Pastor Delbert Young
Cain, Disrespectful Offering
A Disrespectful Offering – Delbert Young
Scriptures: Genesis 4:1-4, Jude 1:10-11, Genesis 4:5-16, Hebrews 11:4, Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 13:15, Hebrews 13:16, Genesis 4:4-7, Leviticus 1:2-5, Romans 12:1
Cain, Disrespectful Offering
Genesis 4:1-4 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 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.
Don’t you feel sorry for Cain – poor thing? The Lord was so ungrateful. So, what if Cain’s offering was different from Abel’s offering? Cain worked at his offering as hard as Abel worked, maybe harder. They had different careers. The offering should be different, right? I mean, what else could Cain bring to offer the Lord? Was he supposed to go and borrow a sheep from Abel? Cain did exactly what Abel did. Cain offered to God exactly what he gained from what he did in life. This is what we do, right? At least Cain gave something. It should not matter what he gave, or how he gave it as long as he gave something, right? Don’t you think God was a little out of line here? Peter said God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), but it certainly does not seem this way here. God should have been happy to just get something, don’t you think? Who does God think he is saying Cain’s offering was not good enough? What’s the deal?
I guess everyone knows where I am going with this. Over the next few weeks, I want to talk aboutOFFERING AND SACRIFICE. I know, I know… You are thinking, “Here goes the preacher talking about money.” Someone has already said, “Sure, you just taught two lessons about inviting people to church, so now I invite people, they come, and you talk about giving money.” Nope, this is not it at all. I may mention money during the lessons, but if I do, it is not to get you to give your money. Let me go ahead and make a point concerning the statement about money. We have come to a place in church where we associate OFFERING AND SACRIFICE with money only. We even say, “We are going to receive the offering now…” People program us to think we must give God our money to appease God and keep him happy. If all you understand about OFFERING AND SACRIFICE is limited to God wanting your money, then you are very narrow-minded and you will miss the purpose of this study. I want you to understand God does not want your money. He wants YOU – YOUR HEART. I want us to see, in our study, the purpose of OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. From Genesis to Revelation, OFFERING AND SACRIFICE is central to what God does in a life. So, if you can, please break, sever, and do whatever you need to separate the thought of OFFERING AND SACRIFICE with money only.
We all understand God encourages a DAY to worship – first day of the week (Mat 28:1/Mar 16:5/Luk 24:1/Joh 20:1; Joh 20:19; Act 20:7; 1Co 16:2), but do we understand God also encourages a WAY to worship? If we learn anything from the story about Cain and Abel, it is we cannot just worship any WAY we want and expect it to be true worship. We cannot offer up any old OFFERING AND SACRIFICE we want, any WAY we want, and expect the Lord to be happy with it and respect it. If we are going to sacrifice our time, if we are going to get out of bed, get dressed, load the family up, come here and OFFER AND SACRIFICE, don’t you at least want to know the correct WAY to do it?
Much of the Bible is about OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. If you have read just a little of your Bible, you know is true. From the beginning of the Bible, right here in Genesis 4, the Lord lets us know there is a correct WAY and an incorrect WAY to give an OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Jude, in his warning and rebuke to those who just did things their own WAY and not God’s WAY, said this…
Jude 1:10-11 Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals – these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! THEY HAVE TAKEN THE WAY OF CAIN…
Jude tells us there are people, in church, who rebel against the correct ways of worship and these are the very things destroying them. Jude said because of this, they have taken the WAY of Cain. Why did Jude select Cain as the example? What was the emphasis of Cain’s life? Where did his trouble begin? His offering set the WAY of his life. We do not realize it, but the WAY we OFFER AND SACRIFICE will set the WAY our life will go. What was/is the WAY of Cain? Let’s read more from the passage about Cain and see the WAY he went.
Genesis 4:5-16 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. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
What was the WAY of Cain? He did OFFERING AND SACRIFICE his WAY. Then, instead of receiving correction, he became angry with the Lord and Abel. His countenance fell. He was a sad and unhappy person. He killed his brother. His life was unproductive. He lived under a curse. Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and became a fugitive and a vagabond. He had no relationship with God or people. He was marked with a mark for the rest of his life. The bottom line is Cain had a horrible life. As you know, his life flowed down to his future generations. This is a big point. The lineage of Cain all went away from the Lord. It all began with A DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING. This is the WAY of Cain.
How do you feel you do with your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE? I fear today many have taken the WAY of Cain and dwell in the land of Nod east of Eden. They are not far from their Eden, but can’t seem to catch a break and get into Eden. They have problems receiving instructions about OFFERING AND SACRIFICE and do it all their WAY. They are often angry and often sad people. They do not understand why their life is a mess. They do not understand why it seems they cannot catch a break in life. They do not understand why life seems unproductive. They do not understand why their children and even grandchildren seem to live under some sort of curse. Could it all be linked to the WAY they do OFFERING AND SACRIFICE? It certainly was a link in the life of Cain. How about you? How do you do OFFERING AND SACRIFICE?
So, what was the deal with Cain’s offering? Why did the Lord not respect (KJV), not favor (NIV), and not accept (NLT) Cain’s offering? Over the years, I have heard many suggestions as to why God did not respect Cain’s offering. Mostly, the two conclusions are because (1) it was not a “blood” offering and sacrifice for sin, and (2) it was not a firstfruit offering. My problem with this is neither Cain nor Abel were giving a sin offering. It was in the process of time. They were simply worshiping and giving an offering to the Lord. A grain offering worked just fine later in the Bible (Lev 2:1; 2:4; Num 8:8 etc.). So, was it not a good firstfruit offering? It is not what the Bible says. Then, Delbert, what is your answer? Why did God consider Cain’s offering A DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING? The Bible says…
Hebrews 11:4 BY FAITH ABEL OFFERED GOD A BETTER SACRIFICE THAN CAIN DID. BY FAITH he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And BY FAITH he still speaks, even though he is dead.
The difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s offering was FAITH. It was not WHAT Cain offered to God. It was the WAY Cain offered to God. Abel offered his offering by FAITH. In other words, Abel had FAITH in what he OFFERED AND SACRIFICED. He believed in his offering. Able had FAITH his offering would please God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without FAITH it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
How many of us are confident what we OFFER AND SACRIFICE to God will please him? Do you have faith in your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE? How much “personal time” do you OFFER AND SACRIFICE to the Lord each day/week? It’s a sacrifice to take time and pray, but this time is a sweet smelling OFFERING AND SACRIFICE to him. It takes time to read his Word and the time is a sweet smelling OFFERING AND SACRIFICE to him. It takes time to get dressed and get the children dressed and go to church, but it is an OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Most people give little or no time, so they can have little or no faith in their OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Is it not DISRESPECTFUL if we refuse to give the Lord an offering of time he deserves? It’s like Cain’s offering. It’s a DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a SACRIFICE OF PRAISE – the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Notice a sacrifice of praise is a fruit of the lips sacrifice. Do you offer a SACRIFICE OF PRAISE to the Lord? Do you do it by faith? Do you have faith in your praise? Many people simply go through the motions of praise. This is the way of Cain and if we will not praise him, is this disrespectful – A DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING?
Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to DO GOOD and TO SHARE with others, for WITH SUCH SACRIFICES God is pleased.
OFFERING AND SACRIFICE invades every area of life. It is way more than only money. We probably do not think of doing good and sharing as pleasing sacrifices to God. Sometimes simply doing good is a sacrifice especially when we want to get mad at someone and retaliate for something they did or said, but we must sacrifice our feelings and do good. How about sharing? This is a sacrifice also pleasing to God. Some Christians are so stingy and they wonder why they never catch a break. Calling ourselves a Christian, but not doing good and sharing is disrespectful to the Lord – A DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING.
I want to close our lesson by looking, once again, at what the Lord said to Cain. This time we will read from a modern translation so we will be sure to get what the Lord said to Cain.
(NIV) Genesis 4:4-7 But Abel brought 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. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
I want us to see the Lord directly connects his FAVOR with the OFFERING. The verses tell us the Lord looked with favor on ABEL AND HIS OFFERING, but on CAIN AND HIS OFFERING he did not look with favor. There is a serious and dramatic connection between the person and the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE.
When a person would bring an offering to the Tabernacle or Temple in the Old Testament, let’s say a yearling calf, the person giving the offering would lay their hand on the calf’s head.
Leviticus 1:2-5 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you BRINGS AN OFFERING TO THE LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock. If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. HE IS TO LAY HIS HAND ON THE HEAD of the burnt offering, and IT WILL BE ACCEPTED ON HIS BEHALF to make atonement for him. He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD…
What a dramatic picture! The laying of the hand on the animal’s head is a spectacular picture showing the connection of the person with the sacrifice. The Lord said, IT WILL BE ACCEPTED ON HIS BEHALF! In effect, the person becomes the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. My point is when we give an OFFERING AND SACRIFICE, we become the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. When I offer praise, I become praise to the Lord. When I offer doing good, I become good to the Lord. When I offer my sharing, I become what it is I share to the Lord – unselfish. What I offer represents and is a picture of ME. I don’t know how this thought influences you, but it makes me want to upgrade my offering. I mean, if it is “ME” being given to the Lord, then I want my offering to be the “BEST ME” I can give. I do not want to be a DISRESPECTFUL OFFERING to the Lord. How about you? Let me make my point and close with this scripture.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to OFFER YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God – THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP.
The point is, you become the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Your offering becomes a dramatic picture of you – YOUR HEART. How is your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE? Does it give respect to who you are or does it bring disrespect?
OFFERING AND SACRIFICE is far more than money. It is you – a picture of your heart.
OFFERING AND SACRIFICE link to the type of life we experience. Don’t go the WAY of Cain.
OFFERING AND SACRIFICE must be given by faith. Do you have faith your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE pleases God – the WAY he respects?
OFFERING AND SACRIFICE is a picture of you and your heart. You ARE your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE.
Let me close with this statement. We have some beautiful and wonderful OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES at Life Gate. You have given and are giving so much to the Lord. You are such a beautiful and dramatic picture. You are truly OFFERING YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES HOLY AND PLEASING TO GOD. Thank you. Let’s pray…