Why was God not pleased with Cain's offering?
[Gary Petty] You all know the story of Cain and Abel. Well, let's take a little closer look at some of this story. It says here in Genesis, "And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an offering to the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering, but to Cain and to his offering, He had not respect. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell."
God isn't being unfair here, for a reason that He doesn't explain entirely. And there's a number of explanations. He looked at what Abel brought and said, "Yes, this is from his heart. This is right." And He said, "I accept it." He saw what Cain was doing, now, understand, Cain is doing this in the worship of God, but Cain's doing it his way. Abel did it God's way and God said, "I'm pleased with that." Cain was doing it his way and God said, "No, I'm not pleased with that." And he became very angry. And then God asked him a couple of questions. These questions are important because when we believe that we can somehow just worship God in however we want that it's okay as long as we worship Him, that's all that matters. Or we get jealous or upset with other people because basically, they have higher standards than we do. Remember what God says to Cain, He asked him, "And the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?'" Notice he actually looked angry, He says, "Why are you angry?" This is what He says next, "If you do well, shall though not be accepted? And if you do well or do not do well, sin lies at the door and unto you shall be his desire and you shall rule over him."
He asks him questions to get him to look at himself. "Why are you angry? You know what to do. You know how to fix this. You go bring an offering to Me in the right way and the way that I prescribed with the right heart, and I'll accept you too. But if you stay angry, you are going to sin and sin is going to overtake you." We know the story. He didn't deal with that anger. He wanted to do it his way. He resented the fact that God accepted his brother. We get religious jealousy because God accepted one person and not another, and remember it says that God not only did not accept his offering but because of the way he brought it. He didn't accept him, but He said, "I will accept you." God offered him acceptance, but he couldn't do it God's way. He had too strong of a will, too much selfishness, and we know the rest of the story. Sin did lie at the door and he killed his brother.
God wants us to love Him in the way that He determines. He is God. He has the right to do that. You and I do not have the right to do what Cain did, and that is simply decide we will worship God however we want and do it in our way, and that'll be good enough, because it's not.
That's BT Daily. Thanks for watching.