Many of us are familiar with the story of Cain and Abel, but even so, it can be a bit confusing. After all, if Cain was a farmer and brought fruit and crops to the Lord as an offering, why was his gift rejected? To shed light on this happening, I think it’s important to understand that the term translated offering here could more accurately be translated tribute. The Hebrew word is minchah, and it denotes a present given to a king, not something offered in worship to God. Back then, if you had a local lord and he was protecting your lands, when you visited him, you brought him something good as a gift. In an effort to say “thank you” for keeping me safe, you offered an expression of gratitude. Knowing this, what we can interpret from the account of Adam and Eve’s kids is that only Abel was really interested in having Jehovah be the King of his life. He brought his Heavenly Father the very best that he had, because he was truly grateful for His Lordship. On the other hand, Cain did the minimum in order to make it look okay, but he really wasn’t dedicated to doing it God’s way. The Lord knew that the farmer wasn’t intending to sacrifice much for His sake, and that is why his gift was rejected. Likewise, today, our Savior longs for us to bring Him our finest. Since He is the author of every good and perfect gift we possess, He bids us pay tribute by holding our possessions loosely and willingly surrendering them for His sake.
My friend, the best relationships involve sacrifice, and this is especially true of your connection with Christ. Though He loves you perfectly and nothing can change that truth, He is delighted when you give joyfully and generously in His Name. As you liberally pour out your time and resources, the rewards you reap far outweigh the temporary discomfort, and the result is abundant life. Paying tribute to your Savior by offering your first fruits expands His Kingdom, and it transforms you in the process.