“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought the fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” Genesis 4:2-5
Many people are interested in obtaining the favor of God. In this passage, we see two brothers both of whom are interested in obtaining the favor of God. They both go about obtaining the blessing by the same means: bringing an offering of the products of their life. There was no law requiring the bringing of offerings; it just seems as if from the very beginning, people instinctively knew that sacrifice was a part of worship.
But, how much sacrifice is necessary to obtain God’s favor?
Cain brought was is described as “some” of the fruits of what his life produced. I don’t know how selective he was about what he picked – but it does appear that he didn’t give his best. He might even have purposely kept the best part back for himself! So, what he gave was simply described as “some”.
How many of us want God’s favor but when considering what to sacrifice as part of our worship, we simply bring “some” of us – many of us purposely keeping the best parts back for our own use!
Abel brought what is described as “fat portions” from the firstborn of his flock. Now, think of this in ranching terms. A rancher or herdsman is always looking for the first and best of his breeding stock to put aside for further breeding purposes. This ensures that his flock is always coming from the best stock. Instead of keeping that for himself, Abel gave that choice part to God as a sacrifice.
As it pertains to God, many people are in a one-way covenant with Him. They expect Him to give His best – His blessings and His favor, His Son – while they hold back the best of themselves and just give God “some” of their life. God looked with favor upon Abel’s offering, but upon Cain’s, He did not look with favor and nothing has changed.
If we want the favor of God, we must be willing to give Him the best of ourselves – the choice parts and if we do so, He will respond with the release of favor that we so desperately seek.
Do you need God to respond? Does He have all of you or just “some” of you?
“I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields-and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30