Weekly Devotional 10-24-22 The Unacceptable Offering
1Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:1-6).
Why did God accept Abel’s offering but did not accept Cain’s offering? To begin an answer, we should consider the items used for their offerings. Cain’s offering was from the fruit of the ground; Abel’s offering was a slain animal. Certainly, Cain brought the best of his gathering and Abel offered the best of his flock. Thus, God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering and rejection of Cain’s was not because of quality, but of type.
As we ponder this, we should recall the scene in the garden after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit. We read verses 6 & 7 of Genesis 3, 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Further along in the narrative we read from verse 21, “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
Were the fig leaves sufficient for the covering of their bodies? Yes. Why then did God discard the fig leaves and cover them with animal skins? The only plausible answer is in what was sacrificed for their covering.
On the one hand, Adam and Eve produced garments that had no significant value; on the other hand God provided garments that required the shedding of the blood. Is there something significant in this? Yes. The writer of Hebrews by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in addressing the old Mosaic Covenant, and God’s covenant of Grace, wrote, “1Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
11But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ 21Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:1-22).
The tying together of Adam and Eve’s attempts, Cain’s offering, and the above passage is found in Revelation 13:8, where John the Revelator mentions the Lamb who had been slain from the foundation of the world. From before creation, God planned to cover (make restitution of) man’s sin by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus the man (John 1:29). One’s fig leaves (efforts-works) are not of acceptable value for the redemption for man, only the blood of Jesus applied on behalf of the sinner will satisfy God’s requirement.
Stevelampman.com / Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man