Contemplating Cain

The account of Cain is well-known. The Bible records his story as the world’s first murderer. It is out of jealousy — and possibly premeditated — that Cain kills his brother, Abel. But what are the events that lead up to this tragedy?

Cain and Abel each bring an offering to God. Abel’s is accepted but Cain’s isn’t. There is speculation as to why God disses Cain’s gift, but the reason is not recorded for us to know.

What’s disconcerting is wondering if God ever┬ádisses our gifts. It’s a shocking thought. I always assumed God is ecstatic over anything and everything I offer to him, be it money in the offering plate, alms, or acts of kindness offered in his honor.

I liken it to a small child showing Mommy and Daddy the picture he or she just drew. The parents are pleased, praising the child profusely, even though they may be clueless as to what the picture is. I expect God to act like that whenever I give him something.

But what if he doesn’t? After all, God is sovereign — and almighty. What if he doesn’t look at my offering with favor?

It’s a sobering thought. I certainly don’t want to be giving God a sorry little picture — thinking it is good and that he likes it — when he is expecting and desiring something so much more.

God, may my gifts and offerings be pleasing to you.