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The Lamb

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.’ And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 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, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 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.’

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?’” Genesis 4:1-9 (ESV).


One Sacrifice


The story of Cain and Abel provides us with a powerful picture: there is only One sacrifice we can give to God that pleases Him. As we read from the text, Cain offered the fruit of the ground for his offering, and Abel offered the firstborn of his flock. We can make many speculations as to why Abel’s offering pleased God and Cain’s didn’t, but I believe the reason God was pleased with Abel’s offering is very simple: Abel understood the cost of his sin, through faith.

Because of the fall of Adam, all of mankind after Adam became subject to the dominion of sin, which includes Cain and Abel. We are not given any context regarding the “course of time” that is addressed in verse three, but we do know that both brothers eventually felt moved to give an offering to the Lord. Considering the people responsible for humanity’s fall are Cain and Abel’s parents, it makes sense as to why they are both aware of the necessity to please God–we should have this same imperative, as God is just as present with us now as He was with them. Nonetheless, it is clear that one offering fails and the other succeeds. Does God just dislike vegetables?