BSF Genesis: Week 5, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
Cain gave some of the fruit, Abel brought fat portion of firstborn.  I don’t think it was the what, but the how and why.

b.
God doesn’t need our offering, but wants our faith and trust. He wants us to be willing to give up what we consider “best” so He can give us something even better.

4.
Yes. I think she learned through the fall that God’s word was truth (and she had just gone through childbirth reminding her of all aspects of that discussion).  God made a promise and now He was beginning to fulfill that promise.

5.
a.
Cain worked the soil, Cain was very angry, his face was downcast

b.
He wanted full recognition and reward. He didn’t want it pointed out that he wasn’t doing his best.

c.
Same. I don’t enjoy being shown that I’m not doing my best

6.
A sacrifice of praise and to do good and to share with others / Through daily prayer and meditation, teaching and writing

My Daily Journal

The part of today’s lesson that really stuck me was God’s attribute as a teacher wanting to help me grow.  God requires a sacrifice, an offering, from me.  Not because He needs something that I have.  God created all of it and owns all of it.  He has put me in place as a steward, but I am only on a temporary work assignment here, where God is eternally in charge and in control.  Instead, the sacrifice and offering is a check on the condition of my heart and head.

God wants me to sacrifice that which I deem to be the best that I have acquired.  If I cannot let go of what I consider to be best out of the things that my labor has produced, then I am blocking God from giving me something better than that out of the work of His labor (which produced everything that exists in 6 days).  If I have already place something on the pedestal of “best” and am not willing to remove it, then how can God give me something better?

With that understanding, it is absurd not to joyfully give up whatever it is that I achieve or acquire with my work because what God can give instead is so much greater.  It isn’t a negotiation, it is an exchange of gifts, given in joy and love.

But that begins with the view of God as a giver.  I think that is at the heart of the difference between Cain and Abel.

Cain may have largely seen God as a God who takes away.  In Cain’s eyes, God took away Cain’s inheritance of the Garden of Eden; He took away the ability to garden without sweat and thorns and thistles, He took away constant peace without constant vigilance and fear.  If Eve saw the fulfillment of the prophecy as immediate, Cain may have been raised as a fighter, as one who uses force to work the ground and as one who is prepared, with force, to crush the serpent’s head.

On the other hand, Abel may have largely seen God as a God who gives.  Abel practiced husbandry of livestock, he cared for animals, he shepherded his flocks and he saw the pain that must have been present in the first animal sacrifice that God had performed with His own hands.  He saw what death looked like and may have recognized God’s grace.

What is my attitude in approaching God and His church?  Do I gladly sacrifice the best that I have acquired perceiving that God gives far better gifts?  Do I see the church and pledge drives and capital campaigns as giving or taking?  Am I willing to contribute some or joyfully give the best that I have acquired?

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