Two men bring an offering to the Lord; one brings the fruit of the ground, and the other the first-born of his flock. God accepts one and rejects the other. Why? Genesis 4:3-5 says, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 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: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
Abel’s action required a great deal of faith. He brought to the Lord his first-born, but Cain made sure that he had enough for himself before giving his offering. Notice how verse three starts: “In the process of time.” Abel exercised faith and Cain practiced what many Christians practice today – we serve God but we do it on our terms. The requirement was to make a sacrifice of firsts. There was no faith involved in what Cain offered so God rejected it. We do this today when we see if we have enough to give before we decide how much we will give. This applies to our giving of service, giving of time, or giving of offerings.
This is something I am guilty of in my walk with God at times. I concern myself with so many other things that I forget the main thing: obedience. God has made His way plain to see. He doesn’t hide it from us; He doesn’t make a way that we can’t obey or follow Him. It comes down to this: am I willing? Am I willing to set aside my agenda and turn it all over to Him? Abel heard the plan of God and accepted it; Cain heard it and altered it. What about you? Are you the servant you should be? We just had a huge event at the church, and it’s so interesting to watch what people are willing to do. Some will serve gladly in the area of service they enjoy, but if you ask them to clear a table or wash dishes that is out of the question. When this is our mindset we have the heart of Cain – “I will make an offering but it will be given on my terms.”
There are many theories to the origin of the term “Carte Blanche.” This one is my favorite: When King Charles the Second was fleeing the Roundheads he is reputed to have offered his helpers a “Carte Blanche.” This was a “White Card” – a blank sheet of paper with his signature at the bottom. The recipient could write anything they wanted above the royal signature and it would be legal. Abel gave God Carte Blanche; Cain didn’t. In your life now have you given God a blank piece of paper, or are you serving like Cain – on your own terms?
- Pastor Green