Why was Cain’s offering rejected?
In the 4th chapter of Genesis we find out that both Cain and Abel made an offering to God. Abel’s offering was accepted but Cains was rejected.
Genesis 4- 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Many people have postulated over the reason for the acceptance of one and the rejection of the other. The most commonly accepted explanation for this is down to one of blood. Abel offered a blood sacrifice but Cain offered fruit of the ground.
The supporting evidence being the blood sacrifices that were later required under the Law of Moses.
However this has NOTHING to do with animal sacrifice.
Although not much is actually given away in the text, the information is rather limited there are some very important nuggets of information that we can extrapolate and expand upon.
Firstly we see that Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Genesis 4- 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
He unlike Abel was not a keeper of animals. He had no animals to offer. It wouldn’t be a very Godly thing to do to reject an offering that a person offers based on a person’s inability to offer a required offering if he doesn’t possess what is required but is offering what they can. This theory simply makes no logical sense.
We also see that Abel gave of the FIRSTLINGS…the firstfruits …whereas Cain did not.
Genesis 4-3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering
Abel’s offering was not accepted due to it being an animal sacrifice but for the fact that Abel put Gods offering first.
We are told in the book of Hebrews that Abel’s offering was more excellent by faith
Hebrews 11-4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel was righteous
Matthew 23-35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
We see that Cain was wicked because his works were evil
1 john 3-11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
It was about FAITH not the offering itself. Cain’s offering was not in faith not from the heart.
Romans 10-10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Colossians 3-23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Cain’s offering was rejected not because he offered fruit of the ground instead of an animal that he didn’t even possess. It was because he unlike Abel didn’t have faith in his offering.