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Today's Creation Moment

When Were Angels Created?
Job 38:4-7
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath...
Have angels always existed from eternity? The Bible says “No”. Only God, the One God in Three Persons, has existed for all eternity. So the angels and any other spirit beings that there might be must...

Cain Tilled the Ground

Genesis 4:3-5
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.

As a child, attending Sunday School, and listening to so many disconnected Bible stories, I was confused by the account of Cain and Abel. In particular, I found it strange that God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. There didn’t seem to be a reason. I remember asking my Sunday School teacher, who didn’t know either. “Maybe Cain wasn’t very nice in the way that he gave his offering,” she suggested.

Image: Cain and Abel's offeringsBut that can’t be the case. Cain offered the fruit of the ground, when it was harvested. This was probably the first and best of the crops. Surely God would be pleased with the best. How can we possibly know whether Cain offered the crop with bad grace?

Part of the problem was that my Sunday School teacher did not believe that the account of Cain and Abel was genuinely historical. It was more of a legend to her. But, years later, when I had accepted that Genesis was literally true, I realized that the answer was there in the text. Cain brought the best that he could offer, but the best that we can offer is not good enough, because we are sinners. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.

Abel brought a blood sacrifice. He did not raise sheep for food, because meat was forbidden us, until after the Flood. Abel’s offering recognized his sin, and the need for atonement. Cain’s offering was given insufficient, because we cannot earn our way to God. We need the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2009), Cain and Abel: Worship and Sacrifice, (Toutle, WA: J6D Publications), pp17-20 Image: Ben Peter Scotton, commissioned by the author for his use