One thing I’ve learned about life, is that when you have a crisis, life somehow goes on. However difficult things get, ‘it’s never for ever’ as my mother always told me.
So life must go on for Adam and Eve. (Genesis 4) And we come to the strange story of Cain and Abel. It seems a bit random and unfair of God on face value, to accept the meat but not the veg.
Look though at how Abel offers his gift – ‘the fat portions from some of the first-born of his flock’. It was the best bits, of his very first results. How could God not be pleased? You can almost hear him saying with delight, “That’s my boy!” These were his first fruits, and it was offered willingly, gladly.
Cain on the other hand, brought his offering ‘in the course of time’. How much time? We’ll never know, but I have a feeling that he only brought the gift when he saw Abel offering his, and being so well received. Maybe he wanted a piece of the action. Probably he was already jealous. Or maybe I’m reading onto the text – judge for yourself!
Whatever the case, God was not overjoyed with Cain’s offering. His comment to Cain really struck me though, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouhing at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” The thing here, is , that the situation was still redeemable – but it hinged on Cain making the right choice from here on. There was always a way back.
It’s the same for us. It’s a matter of recognising when we’ve got a wrong attitude, before it ends up being a wrong action.