"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 and offering--fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering."
Cain and Abel were the first brothers of the first family. They both chose their first jobs. Abel preferred to be a shepherd, while Cain decided to work the land. Both of their lives carried on as normal until the moment came when they should decide their eternal destiny. God wanted each one of them to personally use their actions to choose their final destiny. Everything would be decided by the offering they each came to give in turn.
What Abel did became the prototype of Jesus’ character. The job he chose to do developed a heart of compassion in him. He dedicated his life to show love, give protection and take care of every sheep in the flock. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Abel gave the right offering. Only the Spirit of God could have revealed to him the kind of offering that would be pleasing. He gave a sacrificial offering. It was like the Lord revealed to him that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. That sheep Abel offered to God represented his own life, as if he was saying, “Lord, I deserve death, but accept this offering and receive this animal’s blood like my own blood shed on Your altar.”
This moved God’s heart, because the Father thought of what His Son Jesus would do many years ahead. He would offer Jesus like the perfect sheep, whose blood shed on the Cross would redeem all of humanity.
The fact that God was pleased with Abel’s offering implies that he had a generous heart. He knew that some day he should present himself before God and he shouldn’t go with empty hands. Rather, he should prepare the best offering for the One who had given him life. Likewise, the Queen of Sheba did not present herself before Solomon with an ordinary, formal gift, but she reserved the best of her nation to give to the King. This indeed caught the King’s attention, who later paid her back in abundance.
The offering that pleases the Lord has the seal of excellence. Abel’s offering, definitely had that seal. This was the key to effect history as one of the greatest examples of what a pleasing offering to God should be.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Some days ago, one of the families that attend our church and is part of the ministry, asked for an appointment. They expressed to us the way that God had been preparing their hearts for some time to give an offering as a family to the church. They had been shocked by a text in the Bible, “that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” (Acts 4:34-35). The lady said, “When God gave me this word, I realized that the Lord was asking us to give and offering as a family. We consulted our kids.” They both were also present each one with his own spouse. “In total agreement we want to offer our house to the church.” When I asked them where they would live, the answer was, “God will provide.” Then the father said, “I had never experienced such a great joy until we made this decision. We know it is a way to express to our God all that He means to our family, because with this offering we are protecting our descendants.” This family understood that there are special offerings, which represent what we love the most. When we do this in faith we put a seal of guaranteed protection upon our generations.
"I give my best because I received the best from God."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Three.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Isaiah 17-20; Proverbs 21:17-31
- New Testament: Luke 22:14-23; Hebrews 4:12-16