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Daily Devotional Genesis 4:1–26

Christians have been notorious for fighting over styles of worship. Contemporary or traditional? Seeker sensitive or confessional? High church or low church? While the labels may have changed, the debates about worship have existed for centuries. How tragic that the worship of God, which should lead to unity, often becomes a source of division.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did.


Cain’s jealousy began when God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. The reason was likely the attitude with which it was offered. Abel brought his best “fat portions from some of the firstborn of the flock” (v. 4). Cain brought merely “some of the fruits of the soil” (v. 3). God’s rejection led Cain to be frustrated and angry (v. 5).

Cain’s anger could have led him to repentance. God counseled Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door” (v. 7). Sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve and was now an active force in all relationships. Instead of listening to God’s counsel, Cain killed his brother (v. 8). It is easy to lash out at others instead of addressing our own sin. But Cain’s sin did not go unnoticed by God. God declared, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (v. 10). Sin impacted Cain’s relationship with God, his family, and the earth itself (v. 12).

God’s response demonstrated both a concern for justice and grace. He put Cain under a curse and exiled him (vv. 11–12). But He also provided protection (v. 15). This chapter vividly illustrates the plight humanity faces because of sin. It also illustrates God’s commitment to bring redemption. The hope of the promised offspring who will crush the offspring of the serpent remains alive and well (v. 25).

Go Deeper

Why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s? What does this teach us about the way we approach God in worship?

Pray with Us

You clearly discern our motives, even when we deceive ourselves and others. God, only You see our hearts and motives completely! Father, purify and refine our hearts so we can worship You in Spirit and in truth!

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