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TRUE AND FALSE WORSHIP
(Genesis 4:1-8) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. (KJV)
(Genesis 4:3-5) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. (KJV)
We are familiar with the story of Cain and Abel and when we think of the story we look down at Cain we exalt Abel, which is right. Cain did wrong and Abel did right.
I. LET US LOOK CLOSELY AT THESE TWO BROTHERS AND SEE WHAT THEY WERE AND WHERE THE CAUSE WAS FOR WHAT WAS DONE.
1. WE FIND THAT THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE FLESH. They were both born of Adam and Eve, both having the sinful nature born in them.
They both had potential in them to either serve God or go on in sin and serve the enemy that had brought sin into the lives of their parents. Admit it or not there is the potential in every one of us to become a saint of God or a servant of the devil. It all depends on what we set out heart on, what we become, saint or sinner.
“The Lord votes for you and the devil votes against you, but it is your vote that counts.”
God does all he can to get us ready for heaven, but He can’t do any more than we will allow Him to. On the other hand the enemy of your soul will do all he can to keep you out of heaven but he can’t unless you let him.
There isn’t any difference in all of us here in this service as far as the grace of God is concerned an d our opportunity to be what God wants us to be.
Some have gone deeper in sin than others. Some have had a better heritage than others as far as religion is concerned but when it comes to us as individuals the choice is the same. Every one of us are born equal with the opportunity to choose who we will serve and the potential to make that choice stand.
The motto says, “You can if you will.” If you so will to do right you can by the grace of God.
2. ANOTHER THING ABOUT THESE TWO BROTHERS IS THAT THEY WERE EQUAL AS SINNERS.
The same is true for us. Our heritage and our name doesn’t make any difference we come before God as sinners, with the potential of committing just as bad of sin as the next sinner. I venture to say that most of the crimes and murders that are committed, the criminal never thought he would do such a thing and when he reflected back on his crime he could hardly believe he had committed such an act.
Cain killing Abel. He did it in a fit of anger and jealousy. No doubt a few days before this he never thought he would do such a thing but the potential was there. We don’t realize what is in our sinful hearts. But thank God we can have our heart taken care of until we don’t have to worry about it.
3. THE THIRD THING ABOUT CAIN AND ABEL IS THAT THEY BOTH HAD A CALLING.
Abel was a keeper of the sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Everyone has a calling, both in their secular labors, and in their service for the Lord.
Just as their employment was different so our employment will be different. But we are called of God to do whatever we do it with all of our might.
(Ecclesiastes 9:10) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (KJV)
God gives us a place to fill whether in the shop or in the office, in the store or on the farm. If we keep that in mind we do our job better and are a credit to the grace of God.
Our work isn’t just a place to be employed. It is a place to work and serve the Lord. Matthew Henry said, “That calling or condition of life is best for us, and to be chosen by us, which is best for our souls and gives us most opportunity of serving and enjoying God.”
II. NOW LET US LOOK AT THEIR WORSHIP WHICH INCLUDES THEIR SACRIFICE.
1. IN THE PROCESS OF TIME THEY CAME TO WORSHIP. TO BRING THEIR SACRIFICE TO GOD.
In the Hebrew this reads, “ At the end of days.” I don’t know whether it was at the end of the year or at the harvest time or at the end of the days of the week, but we do know there was a set time to worship and bring their sacrifices before God.
There are several reasons why people come to worship and even bring their sacrifice.
Some come because it is the custom to do so.
It is good to make a habit of coming to worship God and the custom of gathering together to worship the Lord on His day is good. But there should be more to it than being slaves to habit and custom.
There are some who assemble to worship but they never really enter into worship. They attend to the outward ceremony of religion, but true worship comes from the heart.
Then there are some who come to worship because they feel they must pay some regard to God because of their conscience. Being raised around the church our conscience tells us we should go to church. Some attend for this reason and even bring their sacrifice.
But there are some that come to worship because they feel that their souls are drawn to God and they come in worship and praise to Him. They want to draw nigh unto God so that He will draw nigh unto them. They worship in spirit and in truth as well as in form. They welcome all the means of grace. They are like Abel and offer the first of the flock to God. They come in the appointed way – the way God shows them to. In their worship they show a true spirit of devotion.
Cain and Abel came to sacrifice to God and worship Him.
Cain brought the fruit of the ground and Abel brought the firstlings of his flocks.
We realize that it took a blood sacrifice to meet the requirements for sin but there is more to it than what appears on the surface.
Matthew Henry says that Cain was careless in his offering. Abel was careful.
Cain was dishonest in trying to get by with less than what he knew was required while Abel was honest and intent on bringing the best. Cain offered without faith while Abel brought his offering in faith to God.
Cain’s offering was only an acknowledgment offering to the creator while Abel’s offering was an acknowledgment of the need of the grace of God for sinful man.
Cain was careless, Abel was careful.
If we make it through to heaven it will be because we have been careful in our approach to God as well as in our living. I’m glad I don’t do some things, but that isn’t going to get me to heaven alone. Cain was careless in his sacrifice – anything will do. To really worship God it takes what God requires, and we know whether we are careful in our attitude and conduct when it comes to the things of God. What about the things of God? Are we as careful about them as we should be?
Then Cain was dishonest in his offering. He brought and tried to get by with less than was required of him. I suppose he looked just as religious as religious as Abel but in his heart he knew he wasn’t being honest. There are two who know just how honest or dishonest we are – God and ourselves. No one else may know but we know and god knows. When our offering is dishonest it cannot be offered in faith. When we come to God we must come “Believing that He is and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Are you honest in your worship?
The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering, but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect.
Abel’s offering was a blood offering which acknowledged his need of God. Cain and his offering denied the moral distance between himself and God.
True worship acknowledges our need of God and our lost condition without God. I have no doubt that Cain was successful in his tilling of the ground. I believe he had good crops and probably an abundance of them. Likewise Abel was successful in his calling as a herdsman and keeper of the sheep, but no matter how successful we are, we are still dependent on God. We have to keep a right spirit before God.
III. The offering had an effect with God and with Cain, and with Abel.
The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. I don’t know how God reveled Himself and His acceptance of Abel’s offering. I can imagine that He blessed Abel and down in his heart and soul made him feel that his offering was right and acceptable. It must have shown on his face what he felt in his soul.
On the other hand Cain’s offering was not accepted. And not only his offering but the Word says, “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.”
He didn’t have any respect to Cain as well as his offering.
And it showed on Cain. He was wroth and it showed on his face.
We know whether our sacrifice and worship is acceptable to God.
Back in the Old Testament times God showed His presence in different ways. There were times when the fire fell denoting God’s presence. There were times when God appeared in a cloud. There were times when God spoke and told men His desires and blessed them with his words. I don’t know how he manifested Himself here but I do know that Cain and Abel knew when God was pleased and when He was displeased.
And God approached Cain not just about his offering but about the cause. It isn’t what we see on the outside but it is the cause that God is interested in.
(Genesis 4:7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. …. (KJV)
If we aren’t accepted by God sin is the cause. God was here trying to draw Cain to Himself and make him see his need and his condition. God is still talking to people today, trying to get them to see their need and their condition. God is trying to make you see your need and your condition. You need to get in the place where you are accepted of God. Where your faith takes hold and God’s presence is with you and you know you are doing what is right and required of God.
Matthew Henry said that sin and punishment are so near akin that the same word in the Hebrew signify both. He brings out that sin and punishment can’t be separated.
But God does all in His power to bring us to repentance. To rid us of our sin.
But Cain rejected God’s words. The questions God asked Cain were for Cain’s good not because God didn’t know. And when God talks to us it is time to move toward God.
But we find the results of rejection and a hardened heart in Cain. He went out and talked with Abel. It doesn’t say what they talked about but it must have been about their offerings and God’s acceptance or rejection.
In the heart of Cain laid jealousy and envy and murder. I don’t believe he went out with the intention of killing his brother but something inside rose up and he became the first murderer.
There is potential in every one of us to either serve God or commit terrible sins. We hope we won’t ever so anything like that but we read every day where people do. It is because of sin in the heart that was never dealt with. It is because they never brought themselves with an acceptable offering to God, and sin rose up.
Cain killed Abel his own brother.
It all started out back when he didn’t do what he knew God required of him.
(Psalms 19:14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (KJV)
Are you accepted of God or does God reject you? It doesn’t say God just rejected Cain’s offering but God rejected Cain Too.
We need God and it is up to us whether we have Him or not. Are you accepted of God?
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Join date : 2011-12-31
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This is a very deep subject! Our sin, which as you said is the same as Cain and Abels, requires a blood sacrifice. In Cain's sacrifice he was holding back, and giving only of his works, which is unacceptable to God. Abel's sacrifice fulfilled the OT requirement of blood. Christ ultimately fulfilled this in our stead. None of our human sacrifices will fulfill this, only our being covered with the righteousness of Christ, which he accomplished by dying on the cross for us. Without this covering we will be rejected by God. That's my take on it this morning.
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