Sabbath Meditation #38 – Bringing Our Best
“3 At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock—even the fattest of them. And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, 5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased. So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast” (NET).
“4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh” (ASV).
In Genesis, both Cain and Abel both brought an offering to the Lord. Abel’s offering was accepted by God, while Cain’s was not. Why is that? In Hebrews 11:4, we learn that Abel by faith offered “a more excellent sacrifice” than Cain.
The Greek word translated as “more excellent” can also mean something “greater in quantity or quality.” Abel brought a more generous, higher quality offering than Cain, who tried to bring leftovers or a sub-par offering. He even had a second chance to make it right with God but declined to do so (Gen. 4:6-7).
There are many situations in life where this example can be applied but consider for a moment our Sabbath observance. The Sabbath has a primary function of rest from the past week’s labor. This means we are in recovery mode. While we will be tired, we can still examine our approach to the Sabbath and especially the assembly with other believers.
Here are a series of questions for each of us to ask ourselves:
– Are we attentive to God’s Will for our lives or distracted by cares of this world?
– Are we there for the right reasons, or are we going through the motions?
– Is it just a social club or habit without any personal transformation/growth involved for us?
– Are we open to learning more about God and His ways on the Sabbath?
– Are we willing to help the Kingdom cause? (even prayer and personal growth are acceptable ways to contribute to His Kingdom)
The Sabbath is not a day for us to dump our leftovers on the day, such as those things which we didn’t get done throughout the week or weeks beforehand. It is not a day to pursue our pleasures but focus on those things which please Him (Isaiah 58:13-14).
While we are recovering on Sabbath, let’s be sure to bring a more excellent spiritual sacrifice to the Lord. Let’s bring our best.
“Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. 2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect” (NET).
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org
American Standard Version (ASV). Public Domain.NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.