When Faith Offers Less Than Best
This Sunday’s Amusing
FROM THE MIND OF WEBSTER
• Better – more attractive, favorable, or commendable.
• Sacrifice – destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else.
• Offering – something offered as an act of worship or devotion.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor (Genesis 4:2-5).
MUSINGS FROM OTHERS
In the Cain and Abel story Abel’s gift to God was regarded as a more excellent sacrifice. The reason is due, not to the substance of the sacrifice itself, but to the faith behind the gift. Abel’s gift was motivated by a faith that sought to please God (cf. Gen 4:4). He recognized what constituted a “more excellent sacrifice,” and then was obedient to offer that. Likewise, the readers should recognize and rely on the “more excellent sacrifice” that Christ has made for them. (1)
• Better Because Best – Abel offered the fat portions from the first born. Cain merely brought some of his grain. Malachi 1:8 states that God is not pleased when we give offerings that are less than best. God gave His best when He sent His Son.
• Better Because Blood – An animal sacrifice required that blood be shed. Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. This is why Jesus had to die on the cross.
• Better Because It Was a Sacrifice – Offering the first and best is costly. In 2 Samuel 24:24 David refused to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord that cost him nothing. In Luke 21:4, Jesus commends the widow because she gave out of her poverty, whereas the other gave out of their wealth. The cost to God was immense.
My Advice – God gave His best for us. Shouldn’t we return the favor?
- Tanner, J. P. (2010). The Epistle to the Hebrews. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 1079). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.