"The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering."
In just one day, Adam and Eve were left without their two sons. Abel intended to give his best offering to God but following this, he was killed. “The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering” (Genesis 4:4). When God looks upon a person with favor, it is because that person has pleased Him. Abel gave the best of his flock because he knew that God, the Creator of everything, deserved the best. Through his offering, Abel was showing the place that God had in his heart. He invested time in selecting the sacrifice that he would give. He also took the time to prepare his offering beforehand. All of this showed that he loved God with all of his soul, mind, and strength.
The only way that Abel could show his gratitude to God was through an offering. God was pleased with the clarity of Abel’s understanding, because, He knew that one day, He would give the one thing that he loved the most. That is His most precious son Jesus Christ. Jesus became the defenseless being, led to die and pour out his blood as the highest price for the redemption of humanity (Hebrews 11:4). On the other hand, God did not look upon Cain and his offering with favor. His offering was a prototype of the effort that humans make to silence their conscience. However, because it wasn’t a true sacrifice, it wasn’t enough to move the heart of God. To reject an offering also implies a rejection of the person who offers it. We call this, ‘falling from divine grace.’ Cain felt that upon losing the favor of God he had lost everything. Despite this, Cain continued to choose the wrong path. Instead of repenting, he allowed bitterness to take root inside of him, and fell into a deep depression. Because he didn’t understand the power of an offering, he chose a path full of selfishness. This led God to throw him out of His presence. God’s message to Cain was very clear, “If you do not want to walk with me, neither will I walk with you.”
God had to place a sign over him so that no one would kill him. This was not a physical mark but a spiritual one, because God is spirit. This way, when people saw Cain, they would perceive the mark he had in his spirit. There are others in the Bible who also have a spiritual sign. When you hear the name Moses, what do you think about? He was the deliverer and legislator of the people of Israel. When we speak of Abraham, what do you think? He was the father of the faith. Satan knows the value that signs have and that is why he sets out to destroy lives even from childhood. He uses traumas to mark people with rejection, lack of love, insecurity, and fear. But in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us that He came to bandage the wounds of the heart, to heal and remove our negative marks in order to put the seal of His Spirit on each one of His children.
Later, God comforts the first couple by giving them another child whom they named Seth; he took the place of Abel. God allowed light to shine upon that family, for it was after Seth had Enoch that men began to call upon the Lord (Genesis 4:25-26). Even though it may seem impossible, the offering that we give to God determines our destiny. The way that we give an offering to Him shows that we are either accepting or rejecting God’s offering, of His Son to us for our redemption (John 3:16).
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“God put it in my heart to give a special covenant offering to my church and I made a commitment to Him to give it a few weeks later. I made a covenant with this offering for the healing of my hands.
When church service finished, I went to wait for my daughter. When I turned my gaze fell on an older lady and her hands were twisted with arthritis. It saddened me, and brought anguish and fear. It was like the enemy was bringing that woman before me and telling me, “This is what awaits you.” I told the Lord, “I do not want to be like that, please provide the resources so that I can fulfill my covenant.” Some days later, I was busy at work on the fifth floor of my building. I was so distracted in my thoughts that when I went down the stairs I missed a step and fell face first. It all happened so quickly, the only thing I thought to do in that moment was to protect my face; so I crossed my hands in front of it. I had fractures in both wrists and had seven stitches on my eyebrow. I was incapacitated for four months, and my right hand had to have metal pins surgically inserted in them. The process of recuperation was a very difficult time for me.
Today my arms and wrists are in the best condition and they only hurt when it is very cold. God provided for me to be able to fulfill what I had promised. In the January 2009 convention many testimonies were given about how the covenant preserves our lives and protects our immediate family. That day I cried and gave thanks to God because I had an injury from a fracture in my cranium 11 years ago. If God had not intervened in my condition, my situation would have been very different. My bosses and coworkers were surprised that it wasn’t worse. Only the hand of God can protect my life and the life of my family, now and forever.
It was the same for my sister Maria Luisa Castro, who after very close to death was restored to life and healed by God. Now, she is accomplishing His perfect will for her. I give thanks to God for teaching me the extraordinary power that comes from giving a special offering. I understand that our consecration to God is reflected in the way that we offer.” (Libia Castro Pena)
"I gave my best to God, because He gave Jesus, His best to me."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Four.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Joel 2-3; Job 30
- New Testament: John 16:1-11; Revelation 4