Two Offerings (1)
Gen. 4:2 And again she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a tender of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. (3) And in the course of time Cain brought an offering to Jehovah from the fruit of the ground. (4) And Abel also brought an offering from the firstlings of his flock, that is, from their fat portions. And Jehovah had regard for Abel and for his offering. (5) But for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. And Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell.
(Part 1 of 3)
If we understand Genesis 3, we can readily understand chapter four. After Adam sinned, he sewed aprons with the result of his labor — the fig leaves — to cover himself. Cain, the son of Adam, followed the same principle. He offered the produce from the land, the results of his own cultivation, unto God. Cain did exactly the same thing as Adam. The only difference was that Adam’s work was for himself, while Cain’s work was offered to God. Adam wanted to cover himself with his works in the hope of making himself a good man, whereas Cain offered God the produce from the land in the hope of pleasing God. In principle, their works were the same.
While this was occurring in Genesis 3, God clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skin, signifying that the cross must be upon them and that death must work upon them. This was God’s revelation to Adam. In Genesis 4, Abel took God’s way. Abel offered unto God the firstling of his flock and of their fat. What was so special about Abel was that he understood the need of the cross. He realized that man had sinned and had to die and that without his death man could not please God.