Genesis 4: 1-10 – What Does this Mean?

Last week in our Rooted readings we looked at that wonderful chapter in Hebrews, chapter 11. That is a such a wonderful passage of scripture, giving examples of so many saints in the Old Testament.  The next few weeks we’ll look at many of the saints that are mentioned in this chapter.  This week we are going to look deeper at Genesis 4:1-10, the story of Cain and Able:

1 Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!

Last week in our final reading for the week, I gave y’all homework, to think about (and thank if you can) those saints of the faith who have shaped you.

Today, I want to give you some more thinking about homework. The significant thing to me about Able is that he looked at what was his absolute best and would not withhold that very thing from God.  His faith in God drove him to hand over to God his very best knowing two truths.

  1. God deserves his best
  2. God will take care of him with it.

Today, ask you (and me) what we withhold from God.  We often think of this through the lenses of money, and yes, that is part of this. But it is not the totality of it.  There is more than just finances that we withhold from God.  Finances often catch our eyes, but they are not the end-all and be-all of offerings.

It may be your time.

Or a talent.

Or something else.  Today, do we walk the path of faith of Able?  Or the path of doubt of Cain?  Today, our homework is to think about what it is that we are tempted to withhold from God.

Through faith, may we hand it over.

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