Why God didn't accept the sacrifice of Cain but accepted the sacrifice of Abel?

Why God didn't accept the sacrifice of Cain but accepted the sacrifice of Abel?

Why God didn’t accept the sacrifice of Cain but accepted the sacrifice of Abel?

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Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. Hebrews 11:4

We should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1 John 3:11–12

It’s important for us to keep both verses in mind: not only was Abel’s offering more excellent and offered by faith; the Bible also tells us Cain’s works were evil.


Cain is the offspring of the devil when Eve “ate the apple” was really a cohabitation between Eve and the serpent. That’s why Cain was naturally evil.

Abel was following what God did for his parents. Remember, God performed the first sacrifice when Adam and Eve rebelled; He sacrifices the animal to clothe them. Even the Old Testament points to Christ and the plan of salvation. God is showing through the sacrificial system what Christ would go through and why He would go through it. Abel knew that the shedding of blood of a guiltless sacrifice would be the only thing that would cover his sin.

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Previously, in short, I wrote “I’m with Emily on this one. — Still lost on this one.”

UPDATE to previous answer follows:

I wrote Grace & Truth (email: gtpress@gtpress.org) and got an answer that finally makes sense.

Why did God accept Abel’s offering and reject Cain’s? How were these two brothers instructed in what to bring to God?

God is righteous. He is sovereign. He is always fair. However, all Scripture is given for our instruction in righteousness according to 2 Timothy 3:16, so there is obviously something in this account that God wants us to learn.

Very early in the ways of God with man, our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into sin. Eve was deceived by Satan in form of a serpent. In Romans 5, Adam is held responsible for bringing sin into the world because he sinned deliberately, listening to the voice of his wife rather than to the command of God.

Once they had eaten the forbidden fruit, they knew they were guilty. They hid from the presence of God when He came to them in the garden in the cool of the day. Realizing that they were naked, entirely exposed, unfit to be in the presence of God, they made aprons to cover their nakedness. This was in a sense man’s first attempt to make himself fit to reach the presence of God by his own works. The effort failed. After God had righteously dealt with the matter, He made coats of skin for the guilty pair. To make coats of skin animals had to be killed – blood was shed. This lesson is repeated again and again in God’s Word. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins,” is he invariable teaching of God’s Word.

Throughout Scripture God indicates that parents are responsible to teach their children, especially when it comes to the things of God. Can we not assume that as their sons were growing up, Adam and Eve told them the story of their experience in the garden into which God had originally placed them? Would they not have told of how they had feared after gaining the knowledge of good and evil and knowing that they had sinned before God, of how they had tried by their own works to cover up their nakedness, and then of how God had killed sinless animals to make clothes to cover them? Should the boys, as they grew up to be men, not have learned from their parents that approach to God was not possible through their own works, but only through a sacrifice that had to die, having its blood shed?

I realize that I am making an assumption in the previous paragraph, but I feel this is in keeping with the whole tenor of Scripture. Christ is the center of God’s entire revelation to us. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Whether the Bible tells of Him directly or through prophecies or through the many types and shadows, God wants us to focus on Him, His beloved Son. Details we might like to know are often not given us so that we might focus more on what God wants to tell us through a story rather than on mere details of the story.

God is absolutely right in all that He does. Why should He have to give Cain and Abel special revelations about worship when their parents could teach them the simplicity of how to approach Him from their own experience? Worship as such is really not even a subject of the book of Genesis. It appears beautifully before us in Exodus when God delivers a people from bondage and wants to bring them near to Himself. And in John 4 the Lord Jesus makes clear to the woman at the well in Samaria that the Father seeks worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth. Worship is something we bring to God, not something we receive from Him. Much of what is called worship in Christendom today hardly qualifies as such according to the scriptural definition of worship.

Another factor to be considered is the motivation in the hearts of the two brothers. God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. He is addressed as the One who knows the hearts of all in Acts 1:24. In Hebrews 11:4 He tells us that by faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. 1 John 3:12 goes on to say that Cain was of the wicked one and that his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. This is God’s assessment which He has been pleased to share with us centuries after the events in Genesis 3 took place.

Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

These cain and able people never existed - go back to school …