By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:5
The writer of Hebrews now begins to give the readers illustrations of great men and women of faith. He begins with Abel. We find Abel’s story in Genesis 4:3-7:
3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
When reading the story of Cain and Abel, there is always the question as to why Abel’s offering was more acceptable to God than Cain’s. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Abel’s offering was by faith and Matthew 23:35 tells us that Abel was a righteous man. Abel’s offering came from a heart of obedience. He gave God the first born of his flock and of their fat portions and did so willingly. There is no mumbling and grumbling, it was an offering overflowing out of a heart of faith.
On the overhand, Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. The Scriptures do not tell us why but it does tell us that the Lord had no regard for Cain’s offering. Could it be that Cain’s heart was not for God and the all-knowing God was aware? In fact, 1 John 3 warns us, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.“ While we do not know Cain’s heart, the Lord does and He tells us that Cain belonged to the evil one and his actions were evil.
Because Abel’s actions were of faith, they still speak today. His actions speak to us and are worthy our pondering today. Are we people of faith with hearts of obedience? Can we be counted among those who believe and trust the Lord and willingly give Him our best with our whole hearts, and trust Him for the rest?
When we walk by faith, our heart attitude will not begrudge God, murmur when giving our time, tithes, offerings, and service. People of faith understand that God can be trusted with our lives. I will trust in the Lord.