"And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but he did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." Genesis 4:3-5
Welcome to Word Filled Wednesday from the 160 Acre Woods. If you read my blog regularly, you'll see that I love posting on WFW...there is nothing greater than sharing God's Word with each other to exhort, encourage, comfort and teach....I pray God ministers to each of our hearts each week as we sit at His feet. Stop by the 160 Acre Woods to hear from the heart of God through so many women! You will be blessed.
This week, as I was having my quiet time and studying through Eve, I came upon this verse in Genesis about Cain and Abel. I stopped when I got to it and really just let God speak to my heart and meditated on each and every word. At first, I found the words confusing...."accepted....you do not do well." I know God accepts us as we are, sin and all. He loves us in spite of all that we do wrong each and everyday. His love is never ending. His mercy is new every morning. He wants none to be outside His presence. But....
"Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8:7
Enmity....it is a form of enemy. The mind that is of the body and flesh is an enemy, a foe, hostile against God.
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" Romans 8:3
Sin is a part of us from the day we are born (thanks to Eve!)...but God in His mercy gave us His son, Jesus Christ as a ransom for our sins. His death, when He allowed His body to be put on that cross and those nails hammered into his hands and feet, was all for us! He knew that this sin would overtake us. That apart from Him, we walk in sin each and every day.
"And its (sin...Satan's) desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
We all have a choice. Doesn't so much in life come down to choices....each and every day what do we choose? Christ never leaves us...but we have to choose Him. He wants are heart. He wants all of us. He doesn't want the leftovers. He deserves more. He deserves the best. I know I don't give Him my best each day. I know I fall down more times than I'd like to admit.
And here we have the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Eve. Eve, after she selfishly and pridefully falls into the temptation of Satan and lets Satan lure her in her fleshly weakness, takes a bite into that piece of fruit....from the one and only tree forbidden from her....she is cast out of paradise: perfection in the garden. All is lost that day. Eve later has two sons with Adam: first Cain and then Abel. Cain planted and harvested from the ground and Abel kept sheep. As a planter, Cain brought some of his harvest to the Lord, but Abel brought the lamb that was born first and its fat.
Why was one offering more favored than the other? Why did God look with favor on Abel's offering and not Cains?
Because God was looking at the attitude behind the offering and the offering itself. Abel offered the best. Abel offered a blood offering knowing that sin needed to be covered. Abel was a man who believed in faith. (Hebrews 11:14) God saw His heart.
Cain, on the other hand, offered from the work of his hands. Cain's offering was only an acknowledgement to God as Creator...it wasn't done in faith and sin wasn't even recognized. Cain's offering was about him...it was about good works...not a heart attitude.
God saw that Abel's offering was "more excellent" (Hebrews 11:14)
And God in His mercy and love approaches Cain with tenderness and asks him why he is angry? He doesn't accuse. God gives Cain the opportunity to acknowledge his wrongful sacrifice and to look inward at his heart. Not to compare himself to Abel, but to look at himself before God.
And here Cain has a choice. He can either repent before God and choose to change his attitude. Choose to give God His best, from His heart or He could follow in his selfish ways and the sin of self would overtake him.
Cain chose the later. He became angry. He let his emotions overcome his actions. He allowed himself to be ruled by sin and for Satan to overtake him. He acted out of anger. He acted out of pride. He acted out of sin.
As a result, He killed his brother....and he became a fugitive, fleeing from the face of God. More sin was heaped on top....shame, guilt, anger.....hopelessness.
If we would only give God our hearts. If we would give Him our best. If we would walk in faith and trust Him. If we would see our sin and take it to Jesus for His forgiveness and the washing and purifying that comes only from Him. Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can rule over sin. We can choose to put our minds on Christ and conquer the sin that so easily takes us in the wrong directions. Sin is there lying at the door.....but God is standing at the door at well. May we all open the door to God and choose to lay down our sin at the feet of Jesus and follow Him with our hearts, souls and minds.....may He have all of us!