Ride Along: Abel (Pt 1)

Sadly, Abel’s story isn’t very long, but what he can teach us in a Ride Along is extremely valuable.  Abel would encourage us to give God your best and stay in your lane.  Take a look at Abel’s story in Genesis 4:2 – 10.

So why does the story of Abel matter to us? There is a phrase in Hebrews 11:4 that I can’t seem to get out of my spirit, “…though he died, he still speaks.” The story of Abel matters to us because God said that he still speaks and we need to listen.   

It’s pretty obvious that these brothers didn’t get along very well.  They had their differences and similarities like most siblings do. They were from the same parents, they were both bringing an offering to the Lord. We know that Abel was a Shepherd and Cain was a Gardener. Also, we know that Cain was a murderer and Abel was not.

All of us have similarities and differences and God gets the most glory when they all come together for His purpose.  All of us have something to give, some talent, some resource to offer to the Father.  We decide what that “offering” is on a daily basis.  

Abel decided that his offering was going to be the firstborn of his flock and the fat portions.  Abel gave God the first and best of his flock and the fat portions. Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground. Most of us would celebrate Cain and his effort and say, “Good for Cain, he brought something.”  But, we look at the text and we see that Cain didn’t bring the first and best of the ground, he just brought an offering of the fruit on the ground.

Abel would tell us that we need to give God our best.  There might be a temptation to give God your seconds or even your scraps or what might be normal, but don’t settle to give God just a good gift-- give God your best.  There will be rough years where it feels like all your resources are running thin, but still give God your best because He deserves your best in whatever you do, whatever you say and in whatever resources you are equipped to steward – God deserves your best.  

Not only does God deserve your best; He requires it.  Don’t hear me wrong, there is a difference between attempting to give God your very best and falling short – God has grace for us in that situation.  However, God does not have grace for us when we knowingly keep the best for ourselves and offer Him our seconds. God had regard for Abel’s offering, but God had NO regard for Cain’s offering. The word regard here means, “To formally accept or look upon.” God formally accepted and looked at Abel’s offering because Abel gave God his best.  God formally rejected and looked away from Cain’s offerings because Cain knew that he didn’t bring his best offering to God.   

We know that Cain knew he didn’t bring his best because of what God says to Cain in Genesis 4:6&7.