This past weekend we went to a new church plant. We went to support friends who are stepping boldly forward and answering the call of God saying, “Here I am, send me.” We went to support a friend looking for a place to worship.
But, I had no idea that what would happen in that little service would tear open our hearts, clean us out and fill us with the water of life. Quenching that insatiable thirst and yet leaving me craving, praying, worshiping all day, like I could never get quite enough.
And it all came out of the mouths of babes.
Cain and Abel
4 Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you
But, God was doing something greater.
The pastor, asked the congregation, “What was the difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s. And we thought it was rhetorical. We know the story. We get that it was a heart issue. Yet no one offered to put themselves out there and answer the question.
But one young boy raised his hand.
In the sweetness of his seven years, he shyly put together the words, “He knew he had sinned and needed to be forgiven.”
He (Abel) knew he needed to be forgiven.
I still have to soak that one in.
You see, as many times as I ever heard this story… as many times have I have recounted it’s meaning. I have never once thought of Abel, the son who brought the best offering as a broken sinning soul.
I have never once thought that Abel, understood something about the disconnect of sin, and the need for atonement. The longing for restoration and connection with God.
I thought Abel had it all figured out. I thought he was the good boy who knew how to do the right things. That he was so pure of heart that he never messed up.
But, today a sweet seven-year-old boy taught me a lesson. Abel, was bringing that sacrifice, bringing the best of what he had to the Living God, not because he had already done all the right things, but because he wanted to be restored. He needed to be forgiven. He needed to be right with God.