This week we begin taking a look at those great heroes of faith from the Old Testament. Together we will glean much truth from looking at their faith-filled walks and discover how we can continue boldly on our journeys, embracing the abundant life Jesus promised could be ours.
In last week's WOW Weekly Moment, I had you ponder this question:
What am I afraid of?
Here are some possibilities you may (or may not) have come up with.
I am afraid of …
- Failure (disappointing myself and/or others)
- Disapproval (what people think of me)
- Loss (person, job, thing, etc …)
- Time (not having enough)
- Money (not having enough)
These are just a few things we fear. But they are very real and can lead to bondage and even death (Not necessarily physical death, but spiritual, emotional or mental).
Let's take a look at our hero for this week …
Cain & Abel – Fearful Greed vs. Faithful Gift
How did Abel show faith in God?
- Abel brought God the best and first of his flock and the best portions rather than keeping them for himself
- He did not fear for his livelihood but rather trusted that if he gave his best to God he would be blessed
What does the passage say about Abel's offering to God?
- God had regard for Abel's offering and accepted it
What was the problem with Cain's offer?
- He did not bring the first or the best
- He brought "some" fruit
What did Cain do as a result of God's regard for Abel's offering?
- Killed Abel
- Lied to the Lord when asked where his brother was
What was the result of Cain's sin?
- Ground Cain worked would be cursed forever
- Marked by God and not to be killed
- Was out of the presence of the Lord
I believe the main difference between Cain and Abel's offering was faith. Abel trusted God and acted on that trust even when he couldn't see his future. He believed God would take care of him and honor his commitment to bring Him a right sacrifice. Because of Abel's faith, even though he died, he went down in history as a man who had great faith in God. He walked in faith not fear, and His faith-filled legacy will live on forever!
Cain, on the other hand, did not trust or honor the Lord. He walked in fear. Fear of giving and not getting, fear of not having enough for himself. Cain's fear brought death – physical death of his brother Abel and spiritual, emotional and mental death for Cain.
In what ways have you walked in fear rather than faith with regard to your offerings to God?
Do you give your first and best to God with regard to your …
- Your day?
- Prayer life?
So often we choose to walk in fear in these areas – fear of not having enough time, fear of not being good enough, fear of not having enough material goods or money, fear of not having enough hours in our day or even fear of praying in real faith.
When we walk this way we end up void of faith and full of fear! We end up killing the abundant life Jesus offers us in John 10:10.
What promise do we read in Malachi 3:10 about our offerings to the Lord?
Read Matthew 6:25-34.
What does Matthew 6 say about the way God takes care of those who walk in faith?
We don't have to worry or be afraid. We can trust God and walk knowing He will provide everything we need from food, to clothing, to the ability needed to accomplish what He's called us to do, to the time in our day to open His Word, read it and pray. God is faithful!
Cain's greed was rooted in his fear of giving and not having. Abel's gift was rooted in the faith he placed in God. Cain, though he lived, was nothing but a dead man walking. Abel, though he died, lives on as a great hero of faith.
So … what will you choose this week? Will you walk in fear or faith?