Looking with Favor
Adam and Eve might be one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. The creation of the first two people, life in a paradise, and then the terrible consequences of the fall makes for an extremely memorable moment that we look back on as a relatable experience we all go through as we choose sin over obedience and relationship with God. Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden, receive several curses that will make life extremely challenging, and are torn away from their relationship with God. But the devastation doesn’t end there. They have 2 children: Cain and his younger brother Abel. I want to focus on Abel because of the incredible example he sets but also because of the way it clearly presents the destructive power of sin. Abel is a great example. He works hard caring for his flocks and shows us what it looks like to care for this world that God has blessed us with. When we work hard for what we have we develop great pride in our hard work and labor. We see the fruit of OUR labor, we see how WE did a good job, and we begin to feel prideful and entitled. I DESERVE what I have. We see this attitude and it’s results in Cain as he is driven to jealousy, hatred, and murder. What is really impressive to me is Abel’s perspective on his hard work. He brings the fat portions from the firstborn of his flock before God. He offers God the BEST of what he has. He makes the clear statement that his success is not because of anything he did but because of what God has done. He gives back to God what God has given to him. And so God looks with favor on Abel’s sacrifice.
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