About “Abel’s Offering”

The name “Abel’s Offering” comes from a true story in the book of Genesis. The following excerpted from John Hartog II in Faith Pulpit (11/96) further explains the significance of the name:

Genesis 4:3-8 describes this first act of worship recorded in human history. Two brothers, Cain and Abel, brought an offering to the Lord. Cain brought some fruit or grain from the ground. Abel brought some lambs from his fold. The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but the Lord did not respect Cain and his offering.

On the surface, both offerings expressed gratitude and devotion to God, but the man who lacked genuine faith could not please God even though his gift was spotless. Why was God pleased with Abel and his offering and not with Cain and his offering? We find the clue in Hebrews 11:6 which says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Abel pleased God because he came to God in faith. We know this because Abel’s name appears in Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter. In fact, he is the first one on the list. The Lord will be pleased with our worship and will accept our worship only if we worship Him in faith. What does it mean to worship in faith as Abel did?

When Abel brought his offering, he pleased God because he had a proper knowledge of God’s character. To please God in our worship, we must have a proper knowledge of the One whom we are worshipping. We must realize that God is a holy God. When we worship God we must worship Him with a pure heart. We must not worship with an attitude of self-righteousness or pride.

There is no doubt that Cain’s attitude was rebellious. God was not pleased with Cain and his offering because He saw what was in Cain’s heart. God also saw what was in Abel’s heart. Abel came to God in the right attitude of heart for worship and in the only way sinful men can approach a Holy God. Cain did not.

Thus, when we worship God in our churches, we must worship Him with a pure heart, and we must worship Him with a humble spirit. Our giving and singing should not be to build up ourselves but to bring glory to the Almighty Holy Creator God.

If our hearts are right with God, our worship will be to please Him, not men. When Abel brought his offering to God, his main concern was to please God, not men. By accepting Abel’s offering, God gave witness to Abel’s gifts as being within His will. When we worship to please God, not men, our worship will be according to God’s standards, not men’s standards.

We chose the name “Abel’s Offering” not because we believe that our offering is perfect, but because we know that we must present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him who gives us life. We must do so in faith, recognizing who God is, and with a humble spirit, so that He can be pleased and honored with what we bring.