On February 23rd, 2017, Pastor James Choi spoke on the story of Cain and Abel. The passage which was referenced was Genesis 4:1-15. So the sermon spoke on how it is not the offering that causes God to choose to accept or not accept, but rather the person him/herself. In the story of Cain and Abel, Cain had given of the fruit of the land, but Abel had given of the first-born and fat of the flock. Out of Abel’s desire for God, he gave of the best, but Cain had only given some offerings.
Pastor James, takes a look into the previous chapters and why it was that God did not accept Cain. In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve, are forced to leave the garden of Eden, God had made them a promise that a seed of theirs would trample on the serpent’s head. So with Cain’s name, “I have acquired a man from the Lord”, it is likely that Adam and Eve had hoped that Cain would become someone that would bring them back together with God. In the case of Abel, the Bible mentions his name and that he took care of sheep.
Because Cain grew up in an environment where he was exalted, he was a proud person, and quite ego-centric. Thus, in his offerings to God, he was always focused on himself which is why God had rejected his offering. When the opportunity came for him to choose to sin or overcome to sin, he instead chose to focus on his own hurt feelings and ended up murdering his own brother. When God had asked him where Abel was, he even had the audacity to ask God if he was his brother’s keeper.
Some takeaways of the sermon was to consider that in worship, are we coming to God in repentance or relief? When we worship God, we come before him with all of our being and in that moment should repent before him rather than worshiping as a break in day to day life. It is important that who we are is right in the eyes of God.