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Cain’s Offering

14 Mar

GrapesAs I was reading the tiny book of Jude, I saw something that caught my interest. Jude is speaking about some false teachers who had secretly infiltrated the church.

In writing about them, he made this statement…

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
Jude 11

When I saw that line – they have taken the way of Cain – something struck a chord in me and I knew I had to look deeper into it. I wanted to understand this because of the false teaching evident in the church today.

As I studied the life of Cain, I came to a conclusion. We’ve really misunderstood him. We call him evil and murderous. But I want to take a fresh look at him. I think that you’ll be surprised at what I found.

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.
Genesis 4:1-3

We know from the Bible that Cain was the firstborn. Abel came along later. What we don’t know is how much later. Actually, Adam and Eve had other children – many others. Some estimates say it could have been as many as 500 children during their lifetime.

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.
Genesis 4:3

Here is the first of a few things that caught my attention. As this story unfolds we are confronted by the fact that Cain loves God. Not only does he love God, but he’s grateful to God for the abundant harvest that he received.

Of course the growing conditions were ideal back then. I’ve heard some experts who said that the fruits and vegetables grew to enormous sizes before the flood. They were big enough that an ear of corn could be a meal for an entire family.

As a result, we see that Cain was a worshipper. He acknowledged that God was the source of his prosperity and brought an offering before Him. Then something happens that wasn’t expected.

…but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Genesis 4:5

God did not accept Cain’s offering. This brings me to a truth that many Christians have missed. Just because we offer the Lord something; that doesn’t mean that He’s obligated to accept it. God doesn’t have to accept our offerings, especially if He didn’t want it in the first place.

Too many people think that they’re impressing God with what they do, yet God never asked them to do it. They end up offering things to God that He doesn’t want. I want to take a few posts to look at Cain – and how to avoid taking his path.

Questions: Can you give a modern example of what Cain went through?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Spiritual Walk, The Church, Worship

 

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