Summary: Let’s see if we can look at these offerings from God’s perspective and maybe we can make some conclusions that may help us better offer our sacrifices to God.

An Acceptable Offering

Genesis 4:1-4:8

Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other¡¦s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.

One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?"

The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, "Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!"

As human beings, we love to make comparisons. Almost all of our purchases are based on comparisons. One person buys a Ford because of the smooth handling. Another person buys a Chrysler because of the superior design. Someone else buys a Chevy because they believe GM makes a better motor. Whatever the reason, each person buys his/her vehicles based on comparisons with other cars in the same category.

The same can be said for our clothes, our appliances, our food almost any purchase we make is made after comparing products. We buy based on style, quality, value or price but we almost always compare first.

The problem with making comparisons is that we take them too far. We have a tendency to determine the value of ourselves and other human beings by comparing one person to another.

How many times have we thought, ¡§I¡¦m better than so and so because he/she . . .?

You know, as I thought about all of this during the week, I began to realize that there isn’t one thing that I can think of that I do, but that somebody I know does it better.

__________plays better golf,

__________sings better

Television puts excellence in every living room, so we see national or world best. This week

Baseball’s All- Star Game

Lance Armstrong in the Tour De France Going for 6 in a row

.excellence comes by comparison, by excelling among my peers than I might as well quit. Ordinary is as good as I am going to get.

You know, the more I have thought about this, the more I have realized how much different God is than we are. The verse in Isaiah that tells us, For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways declares the Lord. speaks volumes to this. We human beings need to constantly compare. We feel good or bad about ourselves based on how we stack up against others. God, on the other hand, has only one standard. He values everything based on His excellence.

When we think of the story of Cain and Abel, we sometimes picture the scene like this;

„« Two men - brothers - Cain and Abel

„« Cain is a farmer

„« Abel is a rancher

„« Cain goes out to harvest his crops

„« As he does, he puts together an offering to God

„« Abel also puts together an offering to God

„« He picks out an animal and offers it to God

„« God looks at both offerings - Cain’s on the left, Abel’s on the right

„« After considering them both, He chooses Abel’s over Cain’s.

This is not the scenario. This is not how this story happens. Let’s slow down and look at it. First of all, we are never told that the offerings were made together. Each offering is made independently of the other. In verse 3, we are told that Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the ground. In verse 4, we are that Abel also made an offering from the firstlings of his flock. Nowhere are we told that these offerings were made together as if they are in competition. We are simply told that they each made an offering to God.

God, on His part considered each offering not compared to each other He considered each offering based on its own merit. As He did, He made this conclusion in verses 4 and 5; And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard.¨

Understand this, God did not reject Cain’s offering because Abel’s was better. And, He did not accept Abel’s because Cain’s was inferior. Remember this, God could have accepted both offerings and He could have rejected both offerings. The fact of the matter is, He didn’t do either. Why? Why did God accept Abel’s and reject Cain’s?

Let’s see if we can look at these offerings from God’s perspective and maybe we can make some conclusions that may help us better offer our sacrifices to God.

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