Today is week three of our in-depth look at different people from the Bible and what they can teach us. So far, we’ve looked at Eve and Adam, so this week, we’re going to take a deeper look at Abel. What we know of Abel in the Bible is very brief and found in Genesis chapter 4, so let’s dive deeper to see what Abel can teach us.
Genesis 4:2, “Then she [meaning eve] bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”
Then, Genesis 4:4 says, “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering.”
That really isn’t much to go on, but let’s see what we can learn from this. First off, both brothers seem to be hard-working, which is one of the traits that they seem to have in common. Abel gave the firstborn of his flock to the Lord.
He gave the best of what He had to God.
Do we give the best of what we have? This doesn’t necessarily have to mean money—but the best of your talents, your gifts, the best of your service, the best of your time. There are so many areas in our lives where we can give God the firstborn—the best.
What about time? When you first wake up in the morning, are you going to grab a cup of coffee or sit outside, or just shower, get dressed and ready for work? Or, do you take a minute to sit with God, to thank Him for waking you up another day, or take the time to read a bit of His Word and spend time with Him? Do you wait until your time frees up before you spend time with God or do you give Him your best?
What about your gifts and talents? This can be anything in a wide variety of things, but do you use your gifts to bring in money? To impress your friends, or to bring yourself happiness? Do you use those gifts to please God, as a way of praising Him and thanking Him that you have that gift at all?
When you do chores around the house, do you do them with a grudging attitude, or do you pour your heart into it and thank God that you have the ability and are able to do those chores? When you service others, are you putting in your best effort?
Are you giving God the firstborn, the very best that you have, in all areas of your life? Or even just one area of your life?
God didn’t just enjoy Abel’s offering. Genesis 4:4 says that God, “respected Abel and his offering.” That means that because Abel gave God his best, God respected it.
Respect, in the dictionary, means, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”
In Hebrew, this word is shaah which means “have regard, to gaze with interest.”
God admired Abel’s offering and gazed at him with interest. Why? Because Abel gave him the firstborn of his flock. In other words, when his flock finally had children, the first one that was born was given to God.
The first, the best of what you do… given to the Lord.
Will you give God your best today?