“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” – Hebrews 11:4
Scripture reading: Genesis 4:1-16
In Genesis 4, Cain, the agriculturist, and Abel, the shepherd, presented offerings to the Lord. The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offering, but not with Cain’s offering. Why? Because, as God says in so many words in Gen. 4, it was from a righteous heart that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted; even Hebrews 11:4 speaks of Abel being commended as a righteous man. But, there is an interesting statement in our passage and it refers to the fact that Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
Abel is still waiting for vindication. Genesis 4:10 makes clear to Cain that his brother’s blood is crying out from the ground. This is similar to what the voice of the martyrs are crying for before God’s throne in Revelation 6:9ff. Abel speaks, as do the martyrs, as they await the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Abel’s sacrifice is called better than Cain’s sacrifice. Why? Because it was offered by faith. God makes clear it is not merely the object offered to the Lord, but also the heart that matters. David, in Psalm 51, speaks of a broken and a contrite heart. Romans 12:1-2 speak of Christians being a living sacrifice. Trust in the Lord and offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord that it is the humble of heart that most please Him. Ask God to help you to look to Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice, and as we await His appearing.
Rev. Steve Swets was born and raised in NW Indiana. He graduated from Mid America Reformed Seminary in 2007, and he is currently the minister at Redeemer United Reformed Church in St. John, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.