Every now and then we will place a small note about people of faith in the Bible.
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice then Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
Very few verses describe Abel. But they all describe a man of faith; faith in action.
When God drove out Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, because they had sinned; He placed at the east gate, a Cherubim with a flaming sword, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24) They could no longer enjoy the paradise of the garden, nor eat of the tree of life, but they could come to that gate and offer sacrifices. This was the only way God could be found of man, now.
To Abel, this was a sign that God still wanted to have fellowship with man; with him.
There was, at the outside of that gate, a place to seek God. Not to trespass, but to worship. And this is where Abel came.
Genesis 4:3-4 ” And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.”
Here we see Abel coming in “the process of time” or in the Hebrew ” at the end of days”…. Perhaps, it suggests the day of rest on the seventh day(Sabbath).
Worship is counting God worthy all that we have, and all that we are. And Abel wants to come to worship God.
Faith must be present in worship. You must believe that God is, and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Abel did. He believed God. That God was holy and he was a sinner; that in order for him to come to God, a sacrifice of an animal needed to be presented.
This he learned by his parents, telling their children about their sinning. Then before God drove them out of Eden, how God slew animals to take their “coats of skins” to clothe their nakedness. The sacrifice to cover their sin, would have to die, to be offered.
So Abel did what was required. He brought the best that he could: (Genesis 4:4) “of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof.”
And because Abel sought God in faith, and obedience; God “had respect unto Abel and to his offering.”
This stress two answers: “unto Abel” was an answer of peace between God and him.
“To his offering” , acceptance. I believe by fire, for Hebrews said “he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.”
God manifested Abel’s righteousness by burning it up to Himself.
(Of course, it is the first type of Christ’s sacrifice: The Lamb of God.
John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”)
Abel is an amazing witness of faith. With so little light as to God’s plans for man; but the knowledge that He could be sought….Able did seek Him.
(Of course some will say Cain sought, too. And I would argue that God did not think so. He might have been seeking appreciation for his own ability, but he was not seeking God. God plainly told Cain “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Do the offering required, is to come and seek Me. If you don’t do what is required, then the sin, the offering was to cover, is right at your doorstep ready to come in and rule over you.
I believe the sin of pride was what Cain should have come to God about. Why else bring a sacrifice of his own work and sweat? But instead of sin being covered by the sacrifice…it ruled over him , and caused him to kill his own brother.)
Abel is also a witness of the drawing power of God in faith. Sin is a terrible ruler of our lives. (And I am not just talking about the horrible sins everyone instantly recognizes). It refuses to relinquish it’s power. That power must be broken by the power of God. And that is only by the cleansing blood of Christ…or for Abel, faith in the blood of the sacrifice of the lamb.
What Abel’s sin was, doesn’t matter, for it was covered by his offering. Hebrews 11:4 “…he obtained witness that he was righteous”.
Faith seeks after God, to have fellowship with Him; because it gives the knowledge of the emptiness of our lives without Him.
Faith leads us to seek God in His way.
Faith in Christ’s offering gives us peace with God, covers our sin, and makes us righteous in Him.