By: Darrelyn L. TuttIn the beginning ... there were two brothers.Cain was the older of the two, a tiller of land and a harvester of fruits.Abel was the younger, a keeper of sheep, and composed of sensitive spirit.I apply the latter "composite" to Abel because I believe it to be impregnated with realities:Both boys offered an offering to the Lord and knew it to be right and pleasing to Him.But Abel appeared, by nature, to comprehend what it was that God was after:"The first and the best."And Abel gave it."And in the 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 his offering; but unto Cain and his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell."Genesis 4:3-4------The realities and implications that work themselves into "this" story ought to impact us greatly. Three Considerations:1) God delights in the "chiefest" of things and He begins with the heart and works outward.From the heart proceeds the loving favor of God and from the loving favor of God proceeds the promises and presence of God in the individual's life.We come to God as a Cain or Abel in our offerings to the Lord.God tells us what He's looking for and God tells us what He's not looking for.It's ours to give."For Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it; Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."Psalm 51:16-17Is God pleased with your offering?Are you "Abel" to give Him what matters?He's the only One that eternally and ultimately matters.------2) God openly and expressively acknowledges favor for Abel's offering and disapproval for Cain's. And this favor and response of the true "Father" draws the jealousy of the earthly brother in response. It is this marvelous, admirable attribute of God called "favor" which Cain wants insanely and intensely bad for himself. Resentment at being outdone and outshown boils over and initiates in him, the desire to "kill" the one who "bettered" him.Hmmm ...History repeats itself from the beginning and, where the favor of God rests, look with consideration at where the contempt of man does also.You'll always see the two entangled together."For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."James 3:16-18What's the "ugly" hiding in your heart?God wants you to bring it forward and confess it.------3) Jealousy, in response to favor, set in motion the first murder in the Bible.It didn't take place between fellow laborers or distant rivals:It took place between the first two brothers: Cain killed Abel.It's significant to note that God worked to provide a solace, comfort, and remedy to Cain's blistering, angry heart before the murder was conceived or enacted. It's important to note that Cain blasted his "rival" with an arrogant, ego saturated heart in response.Cain nurtured and fostered a poisonous spirit."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. And Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him."Genesis 4:6-8------It's important to remember that sometimes the reaping and sowing principal seems a bit askew as does the loving favor of God:The one who "sowed" rightly reaped an early and untimely death ... but secured himself an eternal home. The one who "sowed" evil kept right on sowing but lived out consequences in effect, that were never removed."And Cain said unto the Lord, 'My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, and it shall come to pass that everyone that findeth me shall slay me ..."Genesis 4:13-14------Look well to the offering that God is pleased with and offer it to Him, no man preventing.Do not anticipate a joyful reunion of loving favor from God and man simultaneously; it rarely happens. Jealously is usually a quick and formidable contendor.God decides and God presides over the offerings of men and He looks upon the tender heart with a special favor.Hallelujah!May an "Abel" heart be yours.
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