Abel's Faith - Cain's Lack of FaithVolume 1, Number 3
Created Date: January 18, 2004
Posted Date: January 18, 2004
The Word of God to Cain and Abel; Cain rejecting and Abel receiving it by faith:
In the fourth chapter of Genesis we read about the first two males born to Adam and Eve. You all know the story, Cain grew up and tilled the ground - he was a farmer, whereas Abel tended sheep. As we will see in Geneses 4:3 - 7, the Word of God had been revealed to both Cain and Abel to be received by faith. It is clear from this passage that in order to be in a right relationship with God they were to demonstrate their faith by offering a blood offering as a sacrifice for their sin/s. This method of dealing with sin had been instituted since Adam and Eve sinned and their sinful nature was passed on to Cain and Abel.
We read in Geneses 4:3 - 7 "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. 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."
Abel had brought "the firstlings of his flock" but since Cain tilled the field and did not have a flock, the Lord provided a sacrifice for his use, as we understand from the phrase "sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." This refers to an animal that God left at Cain's door for Cain's use as a sacrifice as required by God. Simply put, God required a blood sacrifice, but He also provided Cain with the means to offer that sacrifice - it was at Cain's door. All Cain had to do was offer it and thereby show his faith in the Word of God. (We know now that this sacrifice was a type and it pointed to the need for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave of Himself when he died on the cross for mankind.)
But Cain did not accept the sacrifice that God had provided for his sins. Cain did not receive the Word of God by faith. He chose, like his father Adam before him, to go his own way and he demonstrated his lack of faith in disobedience to God's Word by bringing the fruit of his own labor as an offering to God. Cain thus set a pattern that has been followed ever since by men and women who do not have faith in God's Word. Instead of accepting God's Word by faith, they want to believe or have faith in their own works. This is man's religion - trying to do something for God. Examples of these good works are giving to charities, volunteering services, even belonging to and working in a church, etc. These things are good things to do, but doing them does not, of themselves, bring a person into a right relationship with God. Doing these things, like Cain bringing the fruit of his labor, are what man believes best and not what the Word of God requires. The works of one who does not have faith in the Word of God can never please God.instructs "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Unlike Cain, Abel believed God and demonstrated his faith by obeying God's Word, as is explained in: "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." It is clear from this passage in Hebrews that it was by faith that Abel offered his sacrifice. teaches that faith cometh by hearing the Word so we know that the Word of God to Abel, and to Cain, required a blood sacrifice for their sins. Abel's righteousness came not by any works of his own; instead, he gained righteousness before God by believing God, and by faith, doing what God said he should do.
Cain, the first man born, turned out to be a murderer when he killed his brother, as we read in: "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." Here again we see another pattern in human behavior, which has continued throughout history to this day. And that is, people who do not believe God's Word and have no faith therein show hatred toward, and persecute, people who do believe God's Word and demonstrate faith therein.