THE LORD HAD RESPECT
Genesis 4:1 ¶ And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 ¶ And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 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. 8 ¶ 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.
From the man, whom God formed from the ground, and the woman he builded from human flesh, we now come to see what issues forth when these two are allowed to bare, apart from the Lord God’s direct involvement. For he has shown how he can bring forth human life in four different ways. He created Adam without the aid of man or woman. He created Eve with the aid of a man, but without a woman. He brought forth the Lord Jesus Christ with only the aid of a woman, but without the aid of a man. And here are Cain and Abel brought forth with the aid of the woman and the man! The Lord God is only ‘limited’ by his infinite wisdom and glory! For that which would glorify him is that which he chooses to accomplish, not being actually limited in any power or ability to do all things! Psalms 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
And we see that there is a rule set down by the Holy Spirit through the writing of the Apostle Paul as he addresses the sequence of God in the bringing forth of the first and last Adams. And here the same holds true with the first two woman-born sons. 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
For ‘the first man’ born, Cain, was earthy minded. In fact he was demonic in his mind and spirit. 1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. But the second man, Abel, was spiritual. He was a sacrificer who was sacrificed. He was the the first man to die. And the first man died as a martyr. The very first man taken into heaven was a glorious picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ‘firstfruits’ of glory among those entering eternity! 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
For there is in Cain no seeming concern that Paradise has been lost! He seems to think, as does the majority of the human race today, that living apart from God in a sin cursed world is but ‘normal!’ And he just goes about his business in seeking to develop the fallen man in his sin! All he wants to do is cultivate a cursed earth! He is religious, not spiritual. And like so many of those ‘practicing’ religion today, he only does so in order to stay on good terms with God!
Therefore Cain, being of that wicked one, with his unrighteous heart and mind, could not have his offering accepted! Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
But not so with the second man Abel. He is that spiritual man, for he longs and seeks to regain that fellowship with the Lord God, not only from learning about it from his parents, but from a deep desire within his soul! For God testifies to us that his heart was true! Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. And the life blood of his own body is spoken of in conjunction with the very Lamb of God Himself! Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
In that regard, please take notice that it was not the offerings for which the Lord God had respect. It was the character of the givers that had his attention! Therefore the offerings were judged by the offerers! For the Scriptures do not state, “The Lord loveth a giver!” They state, “The Lord loveth a CHEERFUL giver!” (2 Corinthians 9:7.) It is the condition of the heart, and not the size or value of the gift which draws the attention of the Lord!
For even a poor widow’s gift of two mites, who has a right intention for giving, is of greater value than all the other rich men’s offerings together! Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
And if one’s heart is not right with his fellow believer, the gift is not to be offered until that fellowship is restored and the hearts made right! Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
All men only look on the outward appearances. But the Lord is always looking upon the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7). And by his assessment of the heart, the gift is valued. The Lord had respect to Abel’s gift because he had respect to Abel! And this is also true concerning the great sacrifice of the holy Lamb of God! Religious men always look on the thorns, nails and spear as those things which supplied salvation! But this is not so! For it was the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ upon which the Father was focused!
Consider carefully these verses: Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Of course the physical body was important! Of course his soul could not have been offered without his body! But, it still remains that the offering by which the Holy Father was finally ‘satisfied’ was that offering of Christ’s soul! For if at that ‘altar’ of the cross, one single ‘brother’ could not have been ‘reconciled,’ due to any improper action or motivation, there would have been no acceptance of him from the Lord God! The Lord Jesus Christ had to live perfectly. He could do nothing from an improper motivation! Everything he did had to be a work of his Father through him. Neither his anger with the money changers, nor his passion for Mary, Martha and Lazarus at the tomb, could have been selfishly oriented!
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Perfect birth. Perfect life. Perfect death! The Lamb without spot or blemish! Holy sacrifice! Perfect God and perfect man! The only one like him in the universe! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Abel fulfilled the law before there was a Moses to write it down! Consider verse four of our Genesis four lesson. It states that Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock. Now consider this commandment of the law written years after Abel’s death. Numbers 18:17 But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the LORD. The law penned down exactly that which Abel did! And Abel did exactly that which the law later commanded! But how is this possible? We find our answer in the second chapter of Romans.
Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
We have already read how that the Hebrew writer stated that Abel brought a more excellent sacrifice by faith! And that same verse (Hebrews 11:4), also stated that even God testified of his gift! So Abel followed the revelation of God within his soul, just as all believing Christians know to do in being a living sacrifice! Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
But what of Cain? He had such a heart problem that it showed on his face! He had such an inner problem of his soul that even the coaxing’s of the Lord God did not help him. Job 11:14 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. 15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:
The Lord told him what the problem was and that it could be resolved. But no! Mr. Cain granted himself the privilege of being angry! He was truly the father of the Pharisees in our Lord’s day. Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
The Lord told Cain that sin was crouching like a beast at his very door. But if he would do well, his sacrifice would be accepted. But he, like Judas, already had Satan filling his heart with a solution of murder! For those religious boys who are envious of the spiritual souls just want to put the light out which condemns them. They never seek to come forth from the darkness themselves! John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
Satan, the roaring lion, was crouching at the very heart’s door of Cain. We must be very careful at the point of our religious offering. For most do not even suspect that the warm, fuzzy feeling they get in religious halls are actually provided by Satan as an angel of light!
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Be very careful concerning your soul, dear Reader! For with inordinate affections being mistaken for spiritual ‘feelings,’ and Satan coupled together, you can be easily be taken captive by him at his will. (2 Tim. 2:26). There is no remedy for this except true belief in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Bow and worship him now as the Lamb of God to take away your sin! For as soon as that last trumpet sounds, mercy will be retracted and there will be no more opportunity for redemptive mercy! Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
May the Lord God have mercy!
Pastor Gene Breed
August 20, 2015