HEBREWS 11:4-7 THE TRIUMPHS OF PERSEVERANCE IN FAITH IN THE PERIOD BEFORE THE FLOOD: there are three men that lived in the period before the flood that the writer chooses as examples and I will start you on an unending search for their kind of relationship with God. The first is Abel the second son of Adam and Eve. (If you have a copy of The Message by E. H. Peterson, I would suggest that you read this series from it.)
V 4 tells us that “Abel brought God a more acceptable sacrifice than did his brother.”
Seeing that the Law was not yet given I don’t know how Cain or Abel knew what kind of an offering God would accept. Later after the Law was given the provision for sacrifices was made know to Israel. I believe that acceptance or the lack of it depended on the condition of the person presenting the sacrifice rather than the sacrifice. In Matthew 23:35 Abel is referred to as “righteous,” and in 1 John 3:12 it says that the reason Cain killed Abel was because he was more righteous. So it is just possible that what was sacrificed was not the issue but the condition of the person presenting the sacrifice. If the vertical relationship is not right (your relationship with God) it won’t take long before your horizontal relationships will begin to suffer. Perhaps Cain was feeling in some way the result of his parent’s broken relationship God and maybe being jealous of Abel’s positive relationship with God. The same devil that drove a wedge between God, Adam and Eve drove an ill feeling wedge between Cain and Abel. It didn’t take long before the “ill feeling” developed into thoughts of “how do I get even with Abel?” It wasn’t like it is today where our news is filled with killings of all kinds; this was the first of a kind. There is an ancient Hebrew legend about this story: “up to this time no man had died so that Cain should know how to kill. The devil instructed him in this in a dream.” It was Cain who introduced murder into the world. There is another story that builds on this, now after he killed Abel he didn’t know what to do with the body. He saw two crows fighting and one killed the other, then dug a hole with its beak and buried it. So Cain did the same thing. That is why in verse 10 it says that “your brother’s blood calls out to me from the ground.”
The theme of this story is the need to protect your relationship with God so you can have good relationships on earth.
PRAYER – Dear Father, I am so thankful for the very practical lessons that the Bible has for us. You want me to value my relationship with You so that I can have right relationships with the body of Christ on earth. Please forgive me for being short with people who may not agree with me and help me to be more loving and affirming of my brother and sister. I want to love them with the same kind of love I have for You. Amen!