If you had lived in the Garden of Eden, what do you think your offering or gift to God would’ve looked like?
Would the offering have been the most beautiful flowers from your flower garden, or vegetables from your vegetable garden, or maybe the most perfect animal you raised? Have you ever thought about why God had a problem with Cain’s offering in Genesis 4? Why did He react one way towards Abel’s gift and the opposite towards Cain’s? What was different about the offerings?
We read in Genesis 4:3-5 ESV:
In the course of time, Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering, he had no regard.GENESIS 4:3-5 ESV
In the Hebrew language, like other languages other than English, there are masculine and feminine pronouns.
In the verse above, the pronoun his is masculine because it is Abel’s flock, but the pronoun their is feminine because Abel’s flock’s fat portion was from a female lamb or goat. Why does that matter?
My husband and I have raised both sheep and goats. When they are pregnant, we hope for female offspring because we can either breed them one day for more lambs or kids or sell them as breeders to another farm.
Unfortunately, you don’t need a lot of male offspring on a farm. They end up fighting over the girls and get aggressive towards the humans. Farmers need a few males for breeding, but other than that, they have no other purposes except for food. In the time of the Temple sacrifices, God allowed the Jewish people to bring their male animals to be sacrificed…bulls, bucks, and rams. They kept their females to grow their herd.
However, sometimes you can have a half dozen animals give birth and have more than half born male. This is not what we hope for…it thrills us to see little girls being born, but too many boys, and we know we must castrate them to sell them for pets or they will be food. Abel brought God a female sheep or goat offering. This was a genuine sacrifice. He gave God a perfect lamb or kid that would have been an excellent breeder for him. God knew his offering was good.
For this reason, I believe Cain’s offering was not a true sacrifice. He sees God’s displeasure with it and becomes angry.
So, Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”GENESIS 4:5-7 ESV
At the end of verse 7, we see two pronouns—its and it. The word Its is feminine—the word sin is feminine in Hebrew. Sin’s desire is to control Cain. The pronoun It is masculine. The word angry is masculine. That it is referring to Cain’s anger.
God told Cain to rule over his anger, not his sin. Sin is always waiting for an opportunity to use our emotions against us. We may not always be able to control sin, but sin will control us through our anger or jealousy if we do not control it.
God gave us His Son, the Perfect sacrifice, whose blood can free us from the power of strongholds of anger, lust, fear, rage, and rejection to name a few. Freedom comes when we ask for it.God gave us His Son, the Perfect sacrifice, whose blood can free us from the power of strongholds of anger, lust, fear, rage, and rejection. Freedom comes when we ask for it. #VineWords #TheOffering #Biblestudy #Devotion @DPavlantos Click To Tweet
Like Cain, God does not want our strongholds to rule over us. He made a Way so they wouldn’t.
Let go of the strongholds that hold you captive and allow sin to crouch at your door. Ask Jesus for freedom, fall out of agreement with satan and his lies, and forgive those you need to forgive (especially if they don’t deserve it).
Who do you need to forgive?
Dear Heavenly Father, we ask you to help us forgive those who have wronged us. Help us to let go of the pain, wounds, and anger we hold onto with our unforgiveness. Free us from our hurt and strongholds that open doors to sin. Forgive us as we forgive others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Genre: Non-fiction Bible study
Copyright@2021: Stephanie Pavlantos: The Offering
Meet our Contributor:
Stephanie Pavlantos is an award-winning writer who is passionate about getting people into God’s Word. She has taught Bible studies for over fifteen years, speaking at ladies’ retreats, at her church, and over the internet.
Her book, Jewels of Hebrews (Mount Zion Ridge Press), won third place in the Selah Awards at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, and an Honorable Mention at the Florida Christian Writers Conference.
She is an ordained minister, holding credentials since 2019.
Stephanie has served as the president of the Hudson, Ohio chapter of Word Weavers, and is a speaker for the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference.
She is a regular speaker at PJNet. tv.
Stephanie served as editor/social media administrator for VineWords: Devotions and More from 2019-2022. She is co-editor and contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships, Volumes One and Two (VineWords Publishing). She continues to serve as a Bible study/devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More.
Stephanie works for the Besorah Institute for Judeo-Christian Studies in the Student Services department, as well as teaching their online classes. She holds weekly Zoom Bible studies, covering topics such as the Jewish roots of Christianity; the Four Covenants; and other themes.
She is published in Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Charisma Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Faith Beyond Fear. Stephanie is a contributing author to Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (Lighthouse Bible Studies).
Married for twenty-seven years, she and her husband Mike have three children: Matthew, Alexandria, and Michael. Stephanie has adopted animals of all kinds, including dogs, ducks, goats, and chickens.
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