The story of Cain and Able begins with the offerings they had presented to
God. Cain was only motivated to meet the obligation of recognizing God. The
things he made his offering with were themselves probably very fine fruits and
vegetables. Its was Cain's motivation which God wished to deal with. Cain was
not willing to give the best of his world to be the minimum accepted in heaven.
It was not the quantity or quality of Cain's offering that was lacking. Cain's
desire, born of his lack of recognition of his position before a Holy God,
betrayed his motive.
In the Exodus, Moses had to tell Pharaoh what was about to occur to he and
his Kingdom. Exodus 11:4 names all which would be affected next: all Egypt's
sons, slaves, and livestock. These all represented the very best of Egypt.
The very best of an earthly world. These are the same things still esteemed in
our world today. The best, brightest, handsomest children and youths. The
most prized possessions, which display our wealth and positions. These are
the first born and first fruits of today. The things of this world are marked by
our human efforts and achievements. The things I acquire are a result of my
efforts, similar to Cain. The positions and promotions are a result of human
endeavor and are marked with the glorification of ourselves and not Christ.
Later in the Book Of the exodus, we find God telling Moses to consecrate very
much the same list of things he threatened to distroy in Egypt. Exodus 13:1
says "The Lord said to Moses, consecrate to me ecvery first born male. The
first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man
or animal". The consecration was to be done through a sacrifice so that "it will
be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord
brought us up out of Egypt with his mighty hand" (Ex. 13:16), God wants us to
come out of this world, he wants us to not desire to be here over being in
heaven. God wants us to be wholly of his Kingdom, to come out of "Egypt".
When we can give our best efforts, our best achievements, our best
possessions to God, we give the credit to God. When relinquishing the use of
all that we have to God's purposes, we are living and operating in his kingdom
and not in Egypt anymore.
Hebrews 12:23-24 says "you have come to God, the judge of all men, to the
spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new
covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of a better word than the
blood of Able". Here Abel's blood is a type which speaks of un-righteous acts,
wrongly motivated actions, life in the absence of Godly rule. This is very much
the way Pharaoh was living also. This is really the same way we, as
unrepentant and unredeemed sinners, live before God.
Col. 1:18 tells us that "...he (Christ)...is the first born from among the dead".
Jesus is the first man to have died and been resurrected to his eternal form.
His consecration as an eternal being is marked by the sacrifice of the Lamb of
God. The blood of Christ, "which speaks a better word" (Heb. 12:24), speaks
of redemption, the glory given to Christ for his death on our behalf, the setting
us aside for eternity as "first born", by virtue of receiving the mark of Christ
blood upon us. Both sign and seal, we born once and forevermore into
Colossians 3:1-4 tells us the rest of the story, "Since then you have been
raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at
the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who
is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory". We are
sealed up in Christ when we accept him as Lord and Savior. While we wait to
move from this temporary world to our eternal existence in Heaven, we live with
the new and true understanding of our position before God. We are Sons and
Daughters, co-heirs with Christ, of the eternal kingdom. We give our best to
God, which is the completed work of Christ in us, while we wait. We do this in
homage to the work God completed in Christ.