Sunday, November 8, 2009
Genesis 4:1-7 The Good Offering
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 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."
As we read this section, we wonder why Abels offering was better than Cains. First of all, in the text we find that both gave the fruits of his work. However, Abel gave the firstborn while it appears that Cain gave what was leftover. This is backed up with G-ds comment of:
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?"
The Hebrew word yatab translated here as "doest well" is better translated as "do as expected".
If Cain would have done what was expected, then his offering would have been accepted. However, Cain gave his tithe. Who cares if it wasn't the first of what he had? Because G-d expects to be first and foremost in our lives. Anything else shows that you have put something else ahead of G-d. This story is all about idol worship.
If you put anything ahead of G-d then you are an idol worshipper.
You are of the lineage of Cain.
G-d wants you to be of the lineage of Abel, one who gives to G-d as an initial thought not a second thought. Who are you?
So what does G-d mean by, "...and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
It means that if you are of the lineage of Cain, sin will reign over you.
However, if you are of the lineage of Abel, then you will rule over sin.
Posted by No Doubt at 11:45 AM