As we saw in Hebrews chapter 11, the author refers to Abel as a father of the faith, verse 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
In Genesis chapter 4, verse 2, we see the story of Abel: Later she gave birth to his (Cain’s) brother Abel. 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. And Abel also brought an offering - fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
I always looked at this thinking that the Lord was a bit harsh, as Cain could not help that he works with soil. Was there, by that time, a specific law stating that you have bring a blood offering? I don’t think so… So what is the issue here?
You see, it’s does not lie in what we bring to the Lord, but rather in how we live our lives. We can pretend and do whatever is pleasing in other people’s eyes, but only the Lord knows our hearts. Look again at verse 7: If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Only now does it make sense to me that this story probably had nothing to do with the offering, but rather with the lives they lived. Abel lived a life of faith, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews noted, while sin was crouching at Cain’s door.
Let us not try and impress other through our lives, but rather live a life of faith.