But for Cain and his offering he had no regard.

Genesis 4:5

Cain and Abel both brought their sacrifices to God. Yet God accepted only Abel’s and not Cain’s. Cain became angry over this situation, and as a result, he killed his brother. How can we ever wrap our minds around Cain’s action? His brother, Abel, didn’t do anything to him directly. It was Abel’s righteous sacrifice to God that spurred a murderous attitude in Cain. What was so right about Abel’s sacrifice and wrong about Cain’s sacrifice?

Many theologians have reasonable explanations. Perhaps because Abel’s sacrifice included the shedding of blood and Cain’s didn’t. Perhaps God saw the purity in Abel’s heart and impurity in Cain’s. We can find answers in God’s question to Cain in Genesis 4:7: “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”

We need to bring our sacrifices to God in a spirit of obedience to Him. When Samuel spoke to Saul about his sacrifice after he disobeyed God’s command, he responded, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). Saul wanted God to accept his sacrifice even though he was disobedient.

We also can be deceived by this same concept. Some of us serve in ministry and our communities or we give large offerings to the church, yet we disobey God’s commands to be pure, holy, and righteous. We think our acts of sacrifice will make up for our disobedience. Yet a sacrifice given in disobedience will not result in God’s acceptance or blessing.

It’s better to repent and obey God’s word than to give a great sacrifice of time, money, and/or energy. It’s our hearts that God wants more than anything else. If we give our hearts completely to Him and serve in obedience, the right sacrifice will be accepted.


Dear Lord, keep me from the deception of offering a wrong sacrifice. Give me the strength to repent and turn away from all acts of disobedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature