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By: Larry Shaffer
This pic takes us back about 6 years.
God did not accept Cain AND his offering. The form of the offering was wrong because the heart of Cain was wrong. There are indications of Cain’s heart issues throughout chapter 4. First, preparing an unacceptable offering indicates defiance of God’s instructions and a sense of “I’ll do it my way.” Additionally, his immediate response toward God for rejecting his offering was anger, not remorse or contrition. Lastly, Cain’s angry heart turned into hatred and hatred into murder. The unrighteous despise the righteous.
Its an issue of the heart
The New Testament illustration of Cain and Abel is in Luke 18:9-14. This is the parable of the proud pharisee and the humble tax-collector. Luke introduces the parable in this way: “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt.” Jesus describes here the critical issues of the heart of the unrighteous. We believe that Cain suffered the same heart disease. The recurring theme of the Bible revealed here is that the unrighteous are stubborn, arrogant and self-sufficient. The righteous are humble and contrite.
What type of offering does one such as Cain bring? The parable continues, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector…But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Jesus stated that the tax collector was justified, and the Pharisee was not. Jesus summarized, “for everyone who exalts themselves will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Just like the Pharisee, Cain was religious. After all, he walked with God and had conversations with God. But his offering indicated he was self-righteous or self-religious. The Pharisee started his prayer by addressing God, but he was actually praying to himself. No doubt, Cain did the same attitude.
Seems simple, doesn’t it?
It’s a simple concept: be humble rather than proud. Is it really that difficult? The consequences of the two attitudes are monumental and eternal. It’s simple; be humble and submissive rather than proud and defiant. Seems simple but to the unrighteous, it’s impossible to do. They just can’t do it. Lord, examine my heart this morning and reveal to me any issues of pride and arrogance. Help me to humble myself before You, (it’s a much better course than causing You to humble me). Together lord, let’s remove any hint of self and pride and cling only and fully to You for all things. All I have and all I am that is good is from You. Amen!