For today’s blog, I asked some folks if they had any questions about Genesis, creation vs. evolution, or the likes. I got back some awesome questions!
The first one was asked by Linda C. (This is the only one I’m going to answer today since my response was so long)
Linda asked why the fruit offering wasn’t as good as the meat offering with Cain and Abel. This is such a fantastic question! It’s always important for us to look towards scripture to interpret scripture. This is even more important in the case of Cain and righteous Abel, seeing how it is the only source we have.
There is a lot in the OT that is simply not explained, or expounded upon, until the NT. As many faithful men throughout the ages have quipped ‘The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, and the Old Testament is the in the New Testament revealed.’ Like the brass serpent in the wilderness, our Messiah saves us in so many ways, not just from sin, death, and damnation…but also from confusion.
Genesis 4:2-7 tells us that Cain and Abel brought to the Lord their minchah, translated offering. Cains offering was rejected, while Abel’s was accepted. God then warns Cain not
to be angry, but to rule over sin. Was Cains offering rejected because it was fruit and not meat?
Minchah is translated throughout the levitical law as ‘meat offering’. However, there are other words frequently used when referring to sacrifices, such as olah olah, so we cannot come to a decisive conclusion based on a word study if Abel’s offering was accepted simply because it was meat and Cains was not. We do see though, that when Adam and Eve sinned God killed an aminal to cover their sins, giving an example of the sacrificial system and a foreshadowing of the final sacrifice in our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is possible that by the point reached with Cain and Abel everyone understood that offerings brought before God needed to be blood sacrifices.
If we were Old Testament believers we could go back and forth for a while, but we are blessed to be in the New Covenant! So this question is cleared up in the NT. Jesus calls Abel righteous in both the gospel of Matthew and Luke. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abel gave his offering by faith. Even repeating that his sacrifice was more excellent than Cains. John, the revelator (try not to sing the song, I bet you can’t do it) not the baptist, also refers to the Cain in his epistle 1 John. He tells us to love one another, not as Cain. He speaks of Cain as a son of Satan and calls his works evil. He hated Abel because he was evil, but his brother was righteous. It always comes down to the heart. God searches the heart.
Cains sacrifice would have been rejected no matter what he had brought. Proverbs 15:8 tells us that God hates the sacrifice of the wicked. Proverbs 21:27 calls the sacrifice of the wicked an abomination. John tells us Cain was wicked, even Cains actions cry out to his wickedness.
This is not just Biblical history, it’s a warning to all who read it. Those who come before the Lord with a wicked heart might fool the righteous, but they will never fool God. We cannot become righteous of our own accord, we must believe that Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, then rose again. We must cry out in repentance of our sins, and becomes slaves to the Lord who bought us out of the chains and bondage to sin. In Pauls letter to Timothy, he reminds him to work through his salvation through fear and trembling. We need to do this, and we also need to remember that the world, just as Cain did, will hate the righteous. Even unto death. They hated Christ and murdered Him, a slave is not greater than it’s master. If they hated Him, they will hate us.
We must, as Christians, take the Bible seriously. How do we know that Cain and Abel even ever existed? Because Jesus Christ verifies this, and the disciples led by the Holy Spirit do as well. What happens if we don’t take Genesis as literal history? Then we have no reason to hold to the Gospel or saving Grace. Why? It was only due to the first Adam sinning that God sent His only begotten Son, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, to atone for all sin. For by one man sin entered the world…you see our entire belief system hinges on Genesis. I can trudge through fossils, data, and more archeological evidence each Monday, but it would all be pointless without one certain agreement, Genesis is history. World history. Our history. Stand firm on the whole counsel of the Word, friends!
Thank you, Linda C. for your awesome question!