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. Hebrews 11:4.
Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam, differed widely in character. Abel had a spirit of loyalty to God; he saw justice and mercy in the Creator’s dealings with the fallen race, and gratefully accepted the hope of redemption. But Cain cherished feelings of rebellion, and murmured against God because of the curse pronounced upon the earth and upon the human race for Adam’s sin. He permitted his mind to run in the same channel that led to Satan’s fall—indulging the desire for self-exaltation and questioning the divine justice and authority….
These two brothers erected their altars alike, and each brought an offering. Abel presented a sacrifice from the flock, in accordance with the Lord’s directions. “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” Fire flashed from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. But Cain, disregarding the Lord’s direct and explicit command, presented only an offering of fruit. There was no token from heaven to show that it was accepted….
Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.
Cain had the same opportunity of learning and accepting these truths as had Abel. He was not the victim of an arbitrary purpose. One brother was not elected to be accepted of God, and the other to be rejected. Abel chose faith and obedience; Cain, unbelief and rebellion. Here the whole matter rested.26
Conflict and Courage p. 24
—– Prayers please for a pressing situation right now for my niece. We need favor and Gods intervention. Maribel
—–One more “hoop” to go through before B gets the job. Please pray. L
—–Please pray for Ron today as he gets the cataract removed in his right eye. Please pray that God guides the doctor’s hands and that he will heal quickly. Rose
When I was in my late teens, my friend Roberta would often invite me over to her house after church. I always looked forward to these times because we would have so much fun together. Roberta lived about fifteen miles from Kalamazoo and I didn’t have a car, so many times I would stay until Terry, her boyfriend, was ready to go home.
Unfortunately, that was often very late. One particular time, Terry stayed until three o’clock in the morning. Time had flown by and it didn’t seem that late because we were having so much fun. When we got in the car, however, we wished we would have left earlier. Dense fog blanketed the area. The fog was so thick that Terry could not see past the hood of his car. With the bravado of any twenty-two year old, he declared that he knew the road so well that he didn’t need to see! I saw through his pretense of courage. Fingers of fear crept over me.
Instead of inching along, Terry drove about twenty-five or thirty miles per hour. That was way to fast for the curvey road we were on. I gripped the seat and stared into the sheet of white made by his headlights reflecting on the fog. Praying that we would stay on the road and not hit any other car that might be foolish enough to be out in zero-visibility weather, I stayed on edge until we finally made it to town. By the time we got into the city, the fog had disappeared.
How often we feel like we are enveloped in as thick a cloud spiritually as we were that night physically. We grope about and cannot see the narrow path clearly. We long for the closeness and fellowship with our Great Creator. It seems as if every nerve and muscle is stretched to the limit. Our sins are as enemies that loom up to crush us. We exclaim as did David, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” 38:4 The evil one whispers in our ear, “You might as well give up.”
Yet, we must not give up. In those times when we feel so far away from God, we are not left alone to suffer the buffetings of the enemy. Our Loving Saviour is beside us. He longs for that close fellowship with us even more than we do. He whispers to us, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isa 43:1-3
Think of it! The Great Creator of the Universe loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us from the hand of the enemy. He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life!” John 14:6 He is our only Hope! He is our Mighty Deliverer! We can get the help that we need from the One Who gave His Life for us. Isaiah speaks of his experience, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isa 38:17 John assures us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Micah agrees, “thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 We can say as did David, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps 103:12
May we find our hope and deliverance in Him even when the fog of sin threatens to envelope us. May we sing praises to His Holy Name no matter what may be transpiring around us. May we point others to Jesus that they, too, may escape the thick clouds of sin that envelope them.