The story of Cain and Abel, one of the earliest accounts in the Bible, raises a critical question: Why did God favor Abel’s offering over Cain’s? This question has puzzled many, but as we delve into God’s principle of “first fruits,” the answer becomes clear.
Let’s revisit Genesis 4:3-5, where Cain presents his offering from the ground, and Abel offers the firstlings of his flock. This isn’t just a tale of two brothers; it’s a divine lesson in worship and faith. Over my three decades of studying God’s Word, I’ve come to understand that it’s not just the act of giving, but the heart and faith behind it that counts.
You see, Cain’s offering, though a gesture of gratitude, lacked the depth of faith. Scholars often interpret his offering as a blend of fine flour, oil, and frankincense – a gratitude offering, but not a first fruit offering. Abel, on the other hand, didn’t just give; he gave his best and first. His offering was a testament to his faith and total surrender to God.
In Hebrews 11:4, we see Abel’s faith being commended. His righteousness wasn’t about moral perfection or charm; it was about being in right standing with God, placing God above all else. This is the crux of true worship – prioritizing God and giving Him our best, our first fruits.
Cain’s offering, though earnest, was incomplete. It represented his effort, not his faith. Like the Pharisees, who tried to establish their own righteousness (Romans 10:3), Cain’s offering was self-reliant rather than faith-filled. In 2024, as we navigate through challenges and triumphs, this message is ever so pertinent. We are reminded that God doesn’t look for grand gestures; He looks for genuine faith.
God’s message to Cain in Genesis 4:7 still echoes today: “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” It’s a call to each of us to examine our offerings to God. Are they mere rituals, or do they reflect our faith and total surrender?
As we step into this new year, 2024, a year I believe is ordained for breakthroughs, blessings, and great victories, let us embrace the principle of first fruits. Let’s not just give to God, but give Him our best, our first, in faith. It’s about setting apart our first and best for God’s purposes.
Remember, it’s faith that pleases God. As we walk in faith, giving God our first and best, we open the doors to His favor and grace. I encourage you, in this year of 2024, to trust God with your all. Give Him your first fruits, not out of obligation, but out of deep faith. You will be amazed at how God honors your faith and blesses you abundantly. Let’s make 2024 a year of unparalleled faith and surrender to God’s will!