And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering:…
I. CAIN AND ABEL WORSHIPPING.
1. The time of worship. "In the process of time"; literally, "from the end of days."
(1) This may denote the end of the week, of the year, or of some longer period.
(2) Probably the end of the week — i.e., on the Sabbath day.
(a) This suggests habits of worship taught by their parents.
(b) Regular periods of worship.
2. Cain's offering.
3. Abel's offering.
4. God's dealings with the worshippers.
(1) Both were observed of God.
(2) Abel's accepted, and Cain's rejected. Why?
(a) Hebrews 11:4 explains. Faith, in Scripture, always signifies to believe and to obey God's Word.
(b) Abel's offering was expressive of both these characteristics of faith.
(c) Cain's offering was expressive of his wilful rejection of both.
(d) But without faith it is impossible to please God. Hence the acceptance of the one and the rejection of the other.
(e) A Divine revelation of the necessity of blood in an acceptable sacrifice for sin is implied in the Divine acceptance of Abel's offering, and that this acceptance was conditioned on his faith.
II. CAIN'S ANGER AND JEHOVAH'S EXPOSTULATION.
1. Cain's anger suggests two things:(1) That the Divine acceptance and rejection were manifested in some outward form which humiliated him — probably by fire from heaven, as on Carmel in Elijah's time.
(2) That his self-will led him, even in his worship, to insult Him whom he professed to worship.
2. Jehovah's expostulation.
(1) It was full of mercy; graciously designed to lead him to reflect, to repent, to accept God's plan.
(2) Full of encouragement to the well-doer.
(3) ABEL MURDERED BY CAIN HIS BROTHER Full of warning to the evil-doer.
1. The dreadful crime and its preliminaries.
2. The retribution.
3. God's reply to the despairing man.Lessons:
1. All forms of worship, however sincere, are not equally acceptable.
2. No form of worship is acceptable which does not recognize the guilt of sin and the need of blood for its expiation.
3. The spiritual effect of the religion of faith and the religion of reason upon the moral character is exemplified in Cain and Abel.
4. How vain is the sinner's hope to escape either the eye or the hand of a just and holy God.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: