Today I want to talk about the story of Cain and his down fall and how it can relate to Biblical Finances. Now while I was reading this story the other day I just felt like I couldn’t leave it till the Lord showed me something. So after praying and meditating on this passage the Lord showed me an important lesson.
And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.Genesis 4:2-5 ESV
Now when I had read this passage before, I was always confused. I wondered why the Lord would chose to honor the sacrifice of Abel but not of Cain. I always felt like this was contrary to God’s nature that I had seen throughout scripture. And at first glance it seems like there is no difference between Cain and Abel’s sacrifice. But upon closer inspection we see that they are. Cain brought just an offering, but Abel was seen to bring the best of his flock as well as the firstborn of his flock.
Cain is Downcast
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”Genesis 4:6-7 ESV
After not having his offering accepted by the Lord, Cain becomes angry. Then God is gracious enough to meet Cain and talk to him. The Lord points out that if Cain did well, he would be accepted. And if he doesn’t do well, then sin is waiting to control him. This can show us a couple of things. One, is that just offering a sacrifice isn’t enough. And two, is that by not doing well, we risk sin coming in to rule over us.
An Unworthy Sacrifice
When seeking the Lord for understanding on this passage of scripture, the Lord brought me to the book of Malachi. Here He showed me why He didn’t accept the sacrifice of Cain.
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.Malachi 1:6-8 ESV
Here we can see how God determines what is an acceptable offering and what is not an acceptable offering. The Lord will not accept on offering that is blemish or of poor quality, because it offends Him. This can give us insight into what kind of offering that Cain brought before the Lord. We see that Abel brought the first born of the flocks, and that he also brought the fat portions. But from Cain there was nothing special. But now we pose the question, “What if I can’t bring a quality offering?” This leads us to the next passage of scripture the Lord brought me to.
God wants You, not your Money
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”Mark 12:41-44 ESV
From this lesson, we can see that it isn’t about how much you give, but how much it meant for you to give. God doesn’t want your money, He doesn’t need it. God wants you to trust Him, just as the widow did when she gave all she had to live on to the Lord. To God this was beautiful because it showed that the widow truly trusted the Lord. This is what it means to bring an acceptable offering to the Lord.
Biblical Finances: The Consequences of Sin
And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”Genesis 4:10-14 ESV
After Cain had given into sin and murdered his brother, the Lord brought a curse on Cain. Now the curse was that Cain would no longer have the strength of the ground when he would farm. Usually I would pass over this and just move on with the story, but this last time I actually pondered why God would curse Cain in this way. I mean would a better curse be to walk around with a harsh disease, or to have not kids, or something worse? Why did God comes over what Cain loved to do for work? I think it is because is was the source of Cain’s sin. Cain loved so much the fruit of his labor, that he couldn’t honor God with it. So God cursed his work because of it. And this can happen to us too!
Biblical Finances: The offering
We can pray and pray all day long for a raise, a better job, or more money. But we don’t realize that we can fall into the same trap that Cain did. We can love the fruit of our labor, money, more than we can love God. This is why, we must make acceptable offerings to God, so that it doesn’t open a door to sin. If we can be like the widow and like Abel, bringing the best of our work to the Lord, then we will be blessed. Don’t allow the enemy a foothold because you can get yourself to honor God. If you are looking for a place to put your offering consider supporting my ministry or your local church. A good way to support your local church is by using tithley. Make sure to offer a worthy sacrifice to the Lord. If you are interested in learning more about Biblical Finances, then make sure to subscribe to the email list.