There is no doubt that siblings can be extremely different from one another, and no two brothers fit that description better than Cain and Abel. Cain, a tiller of the ground. Abel, a keeper of the sheep. Cain, the firstborn son. Abel, the baby of the family. Although very different, there is one common denominator that Cain and Abel shared: their accountability to God.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to sit around the table as Adam and Eve shared stories of the presence of the Lord and the immaculate garden of Eden. I wonder if Adam pained with remorse as he told his children of the “Great Exile.” Maybe in Eve’s mind she thought of Cain as the Redeemer God had promised in Genesis 3:15 as she said, “I have gotten a man from God.”
The brothers’ beginning was submersed with the knowledge of the Creator God, but whether He would become their Master was up to them. We have looked at the way of Cain, which was a path of wandering and emptiness. But often times we focus so much on those that did not do well that we miss the ones that were obedient.
Abel’s life was short, but the days that God gave him, he made them count. What can we learn from this over-looked brother of Cain?
1. He Gave His Best
God accepted the worship of Abel because it was done in spirit and in truth. The best that he had, he gave to God. Did God need his sacrifice? No. He was Jehovah, the Creator of all. But out of the thanksgiving of Abel’s heart, flowed a loving desire to worship his God and give his very best.
What has God placed in your hands? For Abel it was sheep, but for you it might be a job or a place of leadership. It could be a talent or treasure that He has placed in your life.
Whatever it may be, have you given it back to Him? Usually when we get a gift, we don’t give it back to the one who gave it to us. But God wants the very best you have. He gives us gifts and waits to see how many we will give back to Him for His use and purpose. Maybe that is why the Lord hasn’t blessed our lives like we think He should, because He knows we will use the gift for ourselves. Maybe we can’t handle the responsibility of more.
We all like to think we can handle more. For example we say that if we somehow hit the lottery, we would give it all to charity and the church. But that kind of gift would most likely be the means to our end. More is not the answer, He is the answer, and all He wants is what you have to give. Abel gave his best and gained fellowship with God. God accepted the sacrifice and gained Abel’s heart.
To be continued…