God’s favor is NOT for sale?

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.

Genesis Chapter 4

Three years after Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden Eve gave birth to Cain. The following year Abel was born. God did not abandon Adam and Eve and they did not abandon him. They taught their children about God and how to worship him. Cain grew up to be a farmer. Abel became a shepherd. Both of their children worshiped the God of their father.

One day, Cain and Abel went to church with an offering from the fruits of their labor. Abel kept flocks, so he naturally brought God an offering from the herd. Cain worked the soil, so he naturally brought God an offering that grew from the soil. According the Hebrews chapter 11 Abel brought God “a better offering than Cain did.”[2] But God is not for sale. You can’t buy his favor with an offering. To obey God is better than any sacrifice or offering you can bring.

There was nothing wrong with Cain’s offering from the produce of his farm. The law God gave to Moses had provision for such offerings. There was something wrong with Cain. Who you are determines whether or not God receives your offering with favor. “God looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.”[3] God looked at the man first then his offering. We look at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart.[4]

What did God see in Abel that made him and his offering acceptable but not Cain’s? Faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

“By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries that belief continues to catch our notice.” Hebrews 11:4 The Message Bible.

What you believe about God is more important than what you bring him. He wants faith that works by love more than your offerings.

________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Hebrews 4:12

[2] Hebrews 11:4

[3] Genesis 4:4-5

[4] 1 Samuel 16:7

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