Giving to God our very best!
Hebrews 11:4 (NKJV) “4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
Even before the law was given, we see sacrifices being offered to God by the children of Adam & Eve. The book of Genesis tells us that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. What was the difference between these two sacrificial offerings?
Besides the obvious fact of fruit vs. animals, there are two more distinctions we see in scripture.
1. The first is the value of each gift.
a. “Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat.” Abel presented the fattest first born of his flock to sacrifice to the Lord. A fatted calf is a prized possession, so the value of Abel’s sacrifice was greater than a skinny calf with a broken leg. Abel gave his best to the Lord. Let’s contrast this with Cain.
b. “Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.” Fruit doesn’t grow on the ground, it grows on trees. So Cain left the best fruit that was hanging on the tree for himself, while He gave God the leftovers that had fallen off the tree and were beginning to spoil. Cain’s offering had no value to himself, he was offering God leftovers that he couldn’t care less about.
God wasn’t focused on animals or fruit, but instead was focused on the value of their sacrifices. Abel’s sacrifice was costly to Abel while Cain’s sacrifice did not cost him anything.
2. The second is faith. In our main scripture above, we are told that Abel offered his offering in faith. Abel took a step of faith by offering to God his very best. In contrast, Cain didn’t exercise faith and instead gave God his leftovers. Why is faith so important to God? Because Hebrews 11.6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)…” God is pleased when we put our faith in Him. God is pleased when we give him our very best in faith.
The question is, are we giving our very best to God in faith? When God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, God didn’t send an angel or a cherub, but He sent His own Son to be our Savior! God gave us His very best. So naturally, since God gave us His very best, He desires our very best in return. When we recognize the value that Jesus Christ brings to our lives, in that He died for our sins, in that He has forgiven us, in that we are going to heaven for eternity, it is only natural for us to want to just jump up and shout Hallelujah as we give our very best to Him.