Most people know the story of Adam and Eve. Created by God, they disobeyed him and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. One consequence of their action was being banished from the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that sometime after this Eve gave birth to Cain. Later, she gave birth to Abel. Most people think of Cain as the first murderer and Abel as his victim. But Abel is the first person listed in Hebrews 11 as an example of faith. He was much more than a victim! He is the first example of faith in history!
Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” (NIV)
This tells us that the offering Abel brought to God flowed from his faith. So, what made Cain offer a sacrifice to God? We’re not told. Cain obviously believed God existed. But Scripture never indicates that Cain had faith. Belief in the existence of God is not the same as faith.
Abel makes us pause and reflect. As we live for God and offer to him gifts of service, money and worship – it all must flow from faith. We live confidently for God, even in the face of insult or persecution. We must have faith like Abel!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.