I'm going to "solve the riddle" for people concern Cain's Offering, because many people--- including many Christians--- keep getting it wrong.
****Cain's offering was EXCELLENT but UNACCEPTABLE.****
Scripture: "By faith Abel offered to God a 👉🏿more👈🏿 excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous..." Hebrews 11:4
Stop saying Cain didn't offer a good sacrifice. The MORE is an adverb of degree above that which is EXCELLENT (Cain's offering) to what is MORE EXCELLENT (Abel's offering).
"IF IT WAS EXCELLENT, WHY WAS IT REJECTED?"Because there was no life or blood in his offering of his harvest of crops.
Scripture: For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
In order for Cain to be made right with God (JUST LIKE WE HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST) the innocent must die for the guilty.
You cannot prove that at the time of sacrifice or offering that Cain had an attitude or didn't give His best. BEST is settled in the EXCELLENT reference I gave. He gave His best. He DIDN’T give innocent life with blood in it. Folks, the entire nation of Israel centered around the law and the sacrifice. And though the law was MUCH later, God's demand was demonstrated with Adam and Eve, God using the skins of an animal (A DEAD ONE) to cover them.
DID CAIN HAVE A LAMB? Yes. That's what God says to him AFTER he offered the fruit.
Scripture: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Genesis 4:7
"Sin" in this scripture is a "sin offering". Just as Christ BECAME SIN FOR US.
Scripture: "For He made Him who knew no sin to 👉🏿be sin👈🏿 for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." II Corinthians 5:21
You know from Genesis 4:7 that "sin" is an animate object because it says it "lies at the door." Lie and lay are two different things. Animate objects LIE down. Inanimate objects get LAID down by an animate object. "I laid my pillow down, then I went to lie down."
The sin offering (mostly likely a lamb from his brother Abel) was in his possession to offer. He obviously kept it as a pet. In the first Passover (much later) a lamb was taken on the 10th day and killed on the 14th day. That's FOUR days where it is literally kept as a pet, and then killed.
Cain did not want to kill his lamb.
Scripture: "And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Genesis 4:7
That's why it says ITS DESIRE if for you. Inanimate objects don't have desires. So again, this is a lamb that Cain loves as a pet and that loves him back (as pets do) and God is telling him to RULE OVER it.
Because Cain did not want to kill his lamb, he gave HIS BEST offering of his crops to God in its place. As great an offering as that was, it was UNACCEPTABLE. Again..."The wages of sin is DEATH."
"OK, WELL WHAT SIN WAS CAIN GUILTY OF?"
Obviously, though Cain and Abel were BORN in sin (with a sin nature), without a law in place, there was no sin one could really COMMIT in the flesh.
Scripture: "where there is no law there is no transgression." Romans 4:15
"SO WHAT WAS CAIN GUILTY OF AND THUS NEEDED AN OFFERING?"
God judged Cain by his own heart, inner thoughts, conscience.
Scripture: For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. I John 3:20
So we see that the heart/conscience does commit sin and thus condemns us according to what we know.
Cain's heart obviously condemned him because he brought an offering. Before Adam and Eve fell, no offering was needed, being perfect. Cain offering something signifies his witness of being guilty. Thus God says to him...
Scripture: "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" Genesis 4:8
The do well is obviously the conscience BECAUSE, again there was no law given.
Next, there is no indication that Abel was THRILLED to offer his lamb. Sacrificing animals was a brutal and bloody process. I'm not saying Abel was angry or disrespectful about his offering, but the motive didn't matter. You think EVERYONE who has ever offered a lamb, bull, goat, or other offering was THRILLED to do it? Nay, but they knew that it was necessary against THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD they had sinned against.
What did Cain do AFTER he realized both his convicted conscience and rejected offering? Did he offer that lamb? Nope.
Scripture: "Now Cain talked with Abel his brother..." Genesis 4:8
Now, it does not say what was said in the conversation. But every reasonable inference points to Abel explaining why even an EXCELLENT sacrifice was unacceptable to God, and that it required bloodshed. And you know what happened next.
Scripture: "...and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8
Cain figured out a way to get BOTH his desire (of keeping his lamb) and God's "desire" of bloodshed, so he offers his brother instead, an act that neither pleased God nor cleared his conscience, BECAUSE God told him WHAT he needed to offer--- THAT LAMB--- and Cain refused to do it.
AFTER Cain kills his brother, and God tells him the consequences, Cain is more concerned with his punishment than he his rhe death of his brother. AND... AND... he STILL doesn't offer that lamb. 🙄
Cain is a picture of many people who think they can be right with God, go to heaven, just for being their own measurement of a "good person". The Lord Yeshua is the ONLY SAVIOR and atonement for sins.
Scripture: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..." Romans 3:23-24
There is no amount of good, moral, or religious doings you can do to satisfy the demand of a THRICE HOLY GOD. This goes for Christians as well, who are taking on ministries and assignments NOT being led by The Holy Spirit. The "offering" we now give is OBEDIENCE to THE LAMB who was once offered for all. Trying to do ANYTHING other than living in His grace, by faith, being led by The Holy Spirit, unto righteousness is a CAIN OFFERING.
And many Christians even put forth a set of religious (Cain) doings as opposed to preaching THE PURE GOSPEL. Nonetheless, the power that is in Christ crucified, and the resulting #resurrection life still stands.
If you haven't made Christ your PERSONAL LAMB and SAVIOR, He having already paid the penalty for your sin and guilt, do so today. Turn to God and ask Him to forgive your sins, and to come into your heart, acknowledge THE LAMB YESHUA’S death for your sins, and believe on His resurrection, and God will accept you into His family, clear your conscience, and give you eternal life BEGINNING now.
I have 3-part Podcast Audio series on Cain and Abel
"A Deeper Look: Cain & Abel"
3-part Podcast Series