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HelpMyUnbeliefs
May 10th 2007, 03:38 PM
"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 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. So Cain was very angry, and his face downcast."

I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards the offering of fruit, but he looked in favor towards the fat offering. Can someone explain this to me? :confused

mikeynash
May 10th 2007, 03:41 PM
Ask us an easy one why don't you!!!

Well giving up a life of a first born of his flock is a bigger sacrifice than something that will continue to grow and grow. Hence why in the OT there was always a sacrifice to God, and as such Jesus sacrificed himself for us.

Everything in the bible points to Jesus. Thats my take on it, but i'm sure others can go into more detail.

rchivers
May 10th 2007, 03:45 PM
"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 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. So Cain was very angry, and his face downcast."

I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards the offering of fruit, but he looked in favor towards the fat offering. Can someone explain this to me? :confused

Maybe it was a test for Cain. One that he failed miserably if you read on a bit further.... Thats all I can think of.

OldChurchGuy
May 10th 2007, 10:12 PM
"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 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. So Cain was very angry, and his face downcast."

I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards the offering of fruit, but he looked in favor towards the fat offering. Can someone explain this to me? :confused

The explanation I have heard through the years was the Abel presented the best of his charge for a sacrifice whereas Cain hose whatever fruits of the soil was available for God.

No way to prove the interpretation is accurate, but it works for me.

OldChurchGuy

calidog
May 10th 2007, 10:18 PM
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel made a better offering to God than Cain, and he had witness through it of his righteousness, God giving his approval of his offering: and his voice still comes to us through it though he is dead.

Abel demonstrated faith by his offering.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Scruffy Kid
May 10th 2007, 11:55 PM
Dear Missy (HelpMyUnbeliefs),
I continue to appreciate your sincere and good questions!


The Bible is a deep and complex book,
because of its vast and deep theme

The Bible is a book which is deep, and which gives us the guidance we need for the essential things in life about which we cannot find the answers ourselves. First and foremost, it testifies to Jesus Christ -- the Eternal Word of God -- who was with the Father in the beginning, and took flesh and was born for us that he might overcome death and sin by his dying for our sins and rising to life again. By doing this, He brings us to God, and thus we have eternal life.

This is a very big matter -- concerning the creation of all things by God, and the whole of human life and history, and the ultimate truth and goodness that is found in God.


We keep learning and growing in our understanding
of the Bible -- but there's always more we don't yet understand

We start, then, IMO, by realizing that God's truth is much larger than our ability to understand it!! God does indeed reveal the truth to us, in Christ, and in the Bible, but that revelation does not -- cannot -- mean that we end up knowing everything. Rather, IMO, we will continue to grow more and more, in our knowledge and love of God and of all He has done, as we dwell with Him forever. And even now, my experience through many years has been that the Bible is full of truth, living truth, and that my ability to understand it grows as I grow.

I will give you an example. I was asked to give Bible studies for a group of people (in a foreign country where I was living at the time) who were working with troubled youth. One day we were studying a passage I know very very well, Luke 15. This is the passage that talks about the prodigal son, and about the good shepherd going out to find the lost sheep. It's a wonderful passage, and even then I could easily have preached 5or 6 different sermons on it with 5 minutes notice -- or without any notice at all. So I knew the passage very well. Yet as they asked me questions about it, they turned up many points -- important points -- that I had never thought of. This was not completely accidental. They were working with troubled youth, and that life experience caused them to have questions about finding lost sheep, and about kids who run away from home, in special ways that I never thought so much about. I learned so much about that passage, and about the Bible, talking with them -- even though they had very little knowledge of the Bible.

My point is that the Bible is a book which is rich in truth, deep, inexhausible. And also my point is that the truth the Bible has for us partly comes to us as we apply it in concrete ways to our lives. So I love to study the Bible with others, because I learn about it as God moves the hearts of many people, based on their different thoughts and experiences, while we are talking about it.

Likewise, however, it means that there is much in the Bible that doesn't give us all the answers we might like. It's a dynamic book, with many hidden depths, not like a reference book. (Through it, IMO, God keeps speaking to us!)

And so in understanding it, also, it is important to understand the context, and the main points -- although all the questions we ask (such as yours in your threads) are important.


Lots of things are left out -- often on purpose!

There are lots of important things that the Bible does not mention (dinosaurs, ancient China and its history and thinkers, South America, the molten core of the earth, Alzheimer's disease, and so on). And even where it does discuss various events and narratives, it often does not give us all the information we would like!

In John 8:1-11 there is a truly wonderful account of a wonderful thing Jesus did in His great mercy and love and wisdom. In the middle of that event (8:6) Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust. I'd love to know what he wrote! Many people have wondered. But the Bible doesn't tell us.

I don't think the omissions in the Bible are mistakes. Of course, it couldn't tell us everything (as John 21:25 notes), but in many places it could tell us more than it does -- and we often want to know. For instance, between Jesus' infancy and the start of His ministry, it gives us only one brief incident, when He was 12 years old. We'd love to know more. (I sure would!!) Yet I think that this is deliberate. In not commenting on Jesus' childhood and young manhood, IMO, the Bible is telling us something of great importance.

So it's not surprising to me that dinosaurs aren't mentioned
Why would an entire species that faced extinction not be mentioned in any form? and its not surprising to me that we aren't told everything about why God acted as He did -- or why the human characters acted as they did -- in key stories such as the story of Cain and Abel.
I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards [Cain's] offering of fruit.... Can someone explain this to me? :confused In fact, it's a property of Biblical narrative that it's very terse -- it omits many things, and leaves us to think about them. (This was pointed out and discussed, in lots of detail, by the famous literary critic Erich Auerbach about 50 years ago.)


The Bible often leaves us with unansered questions
That help us in our lives as we think them through!

In a similar way, the Bible often leaves us with questions, and often intends to do so! These questions are helpful to us, and often are answered only as we live out our lives, and come to see what bearing the questions have upon our lives and experiences.

Scruffy Kid
May 11th 2007, 12:31 AM
As I explained in the previous post, key biblical stories are very deep. I don't begin to understand the Cain and Abel story fully, but I have been thinking about it for years, and here are some of my thoughts.

In understanding this narrative, it helps to see the story from many sides, and to see some of the main themes.


Genesis 4 continues the story of the Fall in Genesis 3

The central context of the story is the Fall, the destructiveness and sin that becomes lodged deep within the human heart as a result of our disobedience to God. The discussion of this starts in Genesis 3, but continues through the Cain and Abel story, and the account of Cain's subsequent life, and his descendents, and others on earth, in Genesis 4.

Adam and Eve fall as a result of prideful aspirations -- as the devil, the serpent in Genesis 3, successfully seeks to prompt them to try to usurp God's place. Instead of obeying God, who has given them perfect happiness and fullness of life, they seek to "be like God" and disobey his commandment. Probably this is expressed, also, in the account of what the rebellion they undertake is: they grasp (pluck) and eat "the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." That is, they arrogate to themselves the right to define, to know on their own, what is right and wrong. This is beyond our powers. (The same theme, IMO, comes up again in Gen. 11-12).


God's aims for us are very good,
to make us full of truth and life
and to enable us to enter more fully into God's love!

God intends that we should become more and more like him -- growing in love, and goodness, and integrity, and wisdom and holiness and humility. He says "you shall be holy, because I am holy." And he made us in His own image. His final intention for us is that we should be His children, fully, that is, that we should be made like Christ. So it's not that God doesn't want us to be lifted up, to great hieghts. He does. Rather the problem is that the path to these heights is not the path of self-exaltation, but the path of love and humility.



The pattern of that humility is Jesus. Paul writes roughly as follows in Philippians:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Being in very nature God, he did not reckon equality with God something to be grasped. He emptied himself, taking the very nature of a slave, and being found in human likeness humbled himself to death -- even death on a cross. Through this God has highly exalted him, that in Jesus' name every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.God is very great, but for that same reason, very humble. And his path for us, the path of love for others, and of open-hearted love of God, is the path of humility. The Scripture says "humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up!"


The way that seems right to us but leads to death

The way Adam and Eve went was the opposite way: by seeking to exalt themselves, and by rebelling, they made themselves far from God, and alientated from each other, and the earth, and full of troubles and bad impulses. And this deterioration continued in their family. Thus part of the sad legacy of the Fall is destructive troubles not just in individuals but in families. Genesis 4 is developing this idea for us, IMO.


The question about Cain's sacrifice

We don't know why God looked with favor on Abel's sacrifice, and not on Cain's. It might be that there were reasons unknown to them or us. It might have been a test for Cain -- one which, if he had passed it, by not resenting Abel, would have helped repair the damage in their family. It might be that the offering that Abel made more adequately expressed the depth of dying to selfishness that is required for us in living rightly and in coming to God. It might be that the sacrifice Cain made was made when there were other things wrong in his life displeasing to God, or that it was made with wrong intentions. Maybe all these things. All of these suggestions seem sensible to me (in borader Biblical context), but we just don't know.

What is clear, though, is that Cain's situation filled him with jealosy and a sense of rejection. This is important, and clearly part of what the Bible is teaching us here.

Sibling rivalry is a big trouble among human beings, and generally the desire to be first, or to be as good and as much appreciated as others, is something that often clouds our hearts. That comes out in the Prodigal Son story -- which probably is addressing the Cain and Abel story, among others, IMO. There are many two-sons stories in Scripture. Even apart from sibling rivalry, our feelings of rejection, and jealousy, and desire to be better than others, or regarded as most important, are a huge part of what causes trouble among human beings. This happened even among Jesus' disciples, and He taught them, instead, to consider others better than themselves, and to be humble and to love and serve others. All these things, IMO, are foreshadowed in the Cain and Abel account.


Even after Cain gets bent out of shape, or we do
God is at work to try to bring him (and us) back
to a good response and a good way of life

And it is clear, also, that God seeks to keep Cain out of trouble. He wants Cain to be patient, and not to lose control. He wants to keep Cain from being overpowered by sin. Whatever the form of a particular sin to which we are tempted, God's words to Cain are important to us: "Sin crouches at the door" like a wild beast, but "you can rule over these desires" (Gen. 4:7). Likewise, God emphasizes, to Cain as to us, that "if you do well you will be accepted" despite the difficulties, turmoil of mind, or past wrongs that trouble you. But Cain ignores God's words of wisdom and guidance, and kills his brother, thus ruining his own life. This is the very opposite of the path of obedience to God, patience, humility, and love of one another that God wants and intends for us. The path God wants for us is the godly path that brings us into closer fellowship with God and one another, and helps us become like Christ and enter into the eternal life of God.


Thanks again for your many good questions!! :pp :pp :pp

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid.

Jemma Ash
May 14th 2007, 08:17 AM
plain and simple...as many have said here..it was coz Abel gave the best and most precious of him flock, the new borns...while Cain only gave "some" as it says in the bible...of his fruit...Abel chose to give a great amount to the Lord knowing by Faith that the Lord would provide...
hope all this helps...

TEITZY
May 14th 2007, 09:52 AM
"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 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. So Cain was very angry, and his face downcast."

I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards the offering of fruit, but he looked in favor towards the fat offering. Can someone explain this to me? :confused

Well one possibility was that the offering was meant to be a sin offering and therefore required blood (eg. animal sacrifice). Through the ages God has made it very clear to man and often provided great detail explaining how sinners should approach Him (eg. the tabernacle and Levitical priesthood) and what is acceptable and what is not. Whatever Cain brought it was not what God had commanded him to bring. This not only showed his lack of faith but also displayed his pride and arrogance in that he thought God would accept him no matter what he brought.

In the same way God has ordained that there is only one acceptable sacrifice for sin and one way of salvation and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. Men try to come to God or make themselves acceptable to God in a myriad of ways (that's why there is so many religions), but God has given us very specific instructions about how we are to come to Him:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

So it's either God's way or no way. Unfortunately sinners have deceived themselves into believing THEY can bring ANYTHING to God and be accepted by Him as long as they are sincere. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Cheers
Leigh

Soj
May 14th 2007, 10:38 AM
I don't understand why God look not look in favor towards the offering of fruit, but he looked in favor towards the fat offering. Can someone explain this to me? :confusedAbel didn't just bring the fat of the animal, he brought the whole animal with the fat and sacrificed it! That was the sacrifice that God showed Cain & Abel's parents when He made them "coats of skins" in Genesis 3:21 to cover their nakedness, to cover their sin!

So both Cain and Abel would have been taught that the only sacrifice pleasing to God is a blood sacrifice, but Cain thought he could do it his own way...he soon found out he was wrong.


Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (talking about Jesus Christ)

Jesus Christ is the sacrifice by which all sins are forgiven, you must go to God believing and tell Him that you accept the sacrifice of Christ was made for you!


Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Righton
May 15th 2007, 02:22 AM
Excellent question, Missy.

Pardon me, I've been away lately, working on other things.

The scripture says that Cain took SOME OF his crop and gave it to The LORD as an offering. But about Abel, it says he took the first-born lamb of one of his flocks. Rules are given in the Law of Moses that the people were to give the very best of their flocks, not ones with damage done to s e x u a l organs or anything. It would be in people's nature to withhold the very best. Giving Him the very best requires going the extra mile, which is what He wanted. Though scripture simply says of Cain, "Some of his harvest" I think it really means he gave not the best, but perhaps some of the worst. He rooted through and found a skinny, unhealthy carrot, for instance, instead of a good, full one.

There were grain offerings given to The LORD as well.

Now... about Cain's wife....