Abel offered a lamb. He simply did what God wanted him to do. This was his worship, finding joy in doing the Lord’s will. Cain wanted his own way. He wanted to offer his garden produce, what he chose to offer. How could God refuse such a beautiful offering? How dare he refuse! God surely would not want to turn a worshiper away.
Today many want to claim God’s favor, for doing what they decide they should do. If they want to work to feed their families on the Lord’s day instead of going to church, God should understand and appreciate their noble efforts. If they want to show their love in a homosexual way, God should appreciate their love expression. Someone suggested God holds the hand of those who abort their babies.
How dare God restrain people from doing whatever they please if they supposedly are not hurting anyone. God should be glad they are doing what makes them happy, according to these modern-day Cains. He surely doesn’t want them to be unhappy. How dare anyone be so rude as to suggest they are doing wrong!
God had a plan. His plan was to have his Son die as a sin offer for Cain’s sin so he could be saved from death. The lamb sin offering would illustrate the need of one life being offered for another. Of course Cain and no one else understood the significance at this time. But Cain’s determination to have his own way precluded him from having faith in God and the gift of salvation the Lord so desired to give him.
Abel simply did God’s will, in full surrender of his own will and received the salvation God offered. Today we can be saved as we trust Christ’s sin offering, the sacrifice Cain’s lamb sin offering foreshadowed. In doing so we turn from the sin for which his life was offered. What joy there is in simple obedience!