Genesis 4:1-7 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and siad, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Can was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Can, “why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
What was Cain’s sin? Some have suggested that it was because he gave fruit rather than a blood offering to God. Really? What if that was not the issue, what would be the difference?
Able’s Gift – Able offered up a blood offering. It was the fruit of his labor and therefore a portion of his increase. It was not just from his increase but it was the firstborn of his increase.
Cain’s Gift – Cain offered up fruit. It was the fruit of his labor and therefore a portion of his increase. It does not state that it was the first fruit of his labor. Instead, it said “in the process of time.” Either he waited to make sure that there was enough to give to God or, do you know what happens to fruit in the “process of time?” It turns mellow or rotten.
If the problem was all over the issue of offering to God the first of what was earned or produced, then what message does it speak to us today?
Was this a trial and error experiment with these Cain and Able to try and figure what God wanted? I don’t think so. God said to Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Therefore, I believe that Cain and Able knew what was expected.
This may have been the very first time that we see a lesson on firstfruit or firstborn, but it is not the last.
Let’s jump over many other illustrations. When Israel came into the promised land what was their order in regards to the first city they came to? They were to destroy it and take NOTHING for themselves. Why? The principle of firstfruit.
For another study, take a deep hard look at verse 7. “… sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”