Archives for: April 2005, 24
This is my middle yearbook deadline, which is the most stressful one. I worked more than 12 hours both Friday and Saturday. A bag full of beneficial snacks kept me going, and kept the creativity flowing. I stopped often for something to eat or drink. When I reached an impasse, just walking across the room and taking a drink of green tea or dipping broccoli in some olive oil, or munching nuts and dried fruit restored me. I returned to the computer refreshed and ready to think more imaginatively. The long hours plus keeping things functioning at home have left me little time to blog. I've written several blogs in my head, but haven't had time to put them on paper.
Several weeks ago there was a thread on the Forum about the BTD and the Bible. One of the things someone brought up was whether the fact that God accepted Abel's animal sacrifice but rejected Cain's sacrifice of fruit and grain had anything to do with vegetarianism. I thought the answer was no, but I didn't have any explanation, so I kept quiet.
On the way in to school yesterday I was listening to a Q&A program with a pastor, and he was asked a question about what was wrong with Cain's sacrifice. I found his answer fascinating, and since there was a certain amount of interest on the Forum, I'll summarize what he said - plus add a few of my own thoughts.
Hebrews 11:4 makes it clear that the Cain and Able account was about faith vs works. Cain brought to God what he had produced himself seeking God's approval. It is the idea of gaining God's favor by doing good works. Sometimes you hear people say, "I know I'm going to heaven because I try to be good," or "because I'm not as bad as other people." Some religions say you will go to heaven if you do certain things - follow laws, go on pilgrimages, give money, and give up things you like. God rejected Cain's sacrifice. The pastor on the radio said he found it significant that right at the beginning of the Bible, in the 4th chapter, God made it clear that we can't gain His favor by our own works.
Able, on the other hand, brought as a sacrifice what God had provided, and it was a blood sacrifice. He came with the faith that though he didn't deserve it, God would forgive him. God accepted Able's sacrifice because it was offered with faith. It points ahead to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, which took away the sins of all who would by faith believe in Him.
There are several verses that talk against vegetarianism (Deuteronomy 12:15 & 20, Romans 14:6, and 1 Timothy 4:3), but the account of Cain and Able is not among them.