by Pastor Heiden Ratner

“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” – Hebrews 11:4


What a legacy to leave behind: Faith that speaks from generation to generation! At the beginning of creation, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. They both grew up and worked in their respective domains, Abel kept the sheep, and Cain worked the soil. One day the brothers decided to bring an offering to the Lord. Cain went first, bringing “some of the fruits of the soil.” (Gen. 4:3 NIV) Abel went next, bringing the “firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.” (Gen. 4:4 ESV) Two brothers. Two offerings. However, God only accepted one—Abel’s. 

Why do you think the Lord honored Abel’s offering over Cain’s? There’s much speculation surrounding this question; however, one thing we know for sure is that Abel presented his offering “by faith” (Heb. 11:4). Abel was confident and sure that God was not only worthy of this offering but his best offering. Where Cain brought some fruits off the ground, Abel brought the precious firstborn of his flock. Abel’s offering was costly, yet he was confident and sure – the ingredients of faith – that God was worthy of his best. He wasn’t going to settle for average. He didn’t give God his leftovers, nor did he take the lazy or comfortable route. Instead, he trusted God by faith and brought his best gift. 

On the other hand, Cain struggled with trusting God at this level. Cain was thinking about his gain rather than God’s glory. Jude writes: 11 “Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain…” (Jude 11 ESV) John, the disciple, also affirms: 12 “We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:12 ESV) Cain wrestled with jealously and insecurity, rather than faith and humility. Rather than learning from his brother, he chose to murder him. Today, let us not be like Cain. Instead, let us follow in the legacy of Abel, who walked by faith and trusted God with his best.

“Abel, the first martyr of faith, is a foreshadowing of our Lord Jesus, whose “blood… speaks a better word than the blood of Abel”(Hebrews 12:24). For though Abel’s innocent blood cried out for justice against sin, Jesus’s innocent blood cried out for mercy for sinners. Abel’s blood exposed Cain in his wretchedness. Jesus’s blood covers our wretchedness and cleanses us from all sin (Romans 7:24; 1 John 1:9)
– Jon Bloom


Father, today I choose to trust You with my best. My life is a spiritual offering-a living sacrifice-and I choose to honor you with it today! I know that even the most precious things come first from You. I choose not to hold back. I don’t want to put my faith in man, my treasures, or my reputation. I recognize the world may not understand it, yet I trust you anyway. I desire to have Abel-like faith and give you my best today. In Jesus’ name, amen! 

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