I have always wondered what the difference between Abel and Cain’s offerings were? What made one pleasing to God and what made one not pleasing to God? Cain’s worship was not acceptable, whereas Abel’s worship was. The difference between the two offerings is not clear in the passage in an explicit sense. Was it that Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was not a blood sacrifice – there is no evidence for this and it seems that both offerings, in themselves, were acceptable. Cain’s offering of “fruits of the soil” (v.3) was as appropriate for his occupation as Abel’s “firstborn of his flock” (v.4) was for his occupation as a shepherd it seems to me. So I do not think it is the offering that was acceptable or not. It seems to me I should look deeper at the attitude of the giver rather than adequacy of the gift. Whatever the cause of God’s rejection of Cain’s offering, Cain’s response was twofold: (1) anger against God and (2) anger against his brother. This shows something of Cain’s heart.
I am struck by the heart of Cain. What is in my heart? Am I open hearted to God and to others. Do I truly love the Lord with all my heart or do I bring ‘offerings’ that are actually unacceptable because of a bad attitude.
Father, keep my heart clean before You – give me courage to be truly open to You.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta