Pristine Grace

The Sacrifice of Fools
by Randy Wages
The Sacrifice of Fools

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.  - Eccl. 5:1

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. - Heb. 11:4

     We know from Genesis 4 that Cain killed his brother Abel; yet by his sacrifice, “…he being dead yet speaketh.”  And we would be wise to listen!  From Genesis 4, we know that Cain brought the product of his own works.  Being a tiller of the ground, he offered the fruit of the ground.  Granted, Abel was a shepherd but what distinguished his sacrifice from Cain’s was not because it too, was a product of his occupation as was Cain’s. Rather, it was because Abel brought the blood of a lamb.  By faith, He came before God to worship in recognition of his desperate need of a suitable Substitute, needing a righteousness or satisfaction to be made before the holy justice of God that he, a sinner, could not produce for himself.  He needed the doing and the dying (the shed blood) of the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God, the woman’s seed of Genesis 3 – this all being typified by the blood of the sacrificial lamb he offered.   And notice from Hebrews 11:4 that Abel did not become righteous by offering the blood sacrifice;  rather, it gave evidence that he was righteous – God having imputed or accounted unto Him the very righteousness that Christ would in time accomplish for Him on Calvary’s cross.

     This was in stark contrast to Cain’s offering which would be akin to the evil “sacrifice of fools” (Eccl 5:1) brought by those who, like Cain, sincerely approach God for acceptance in worship by bringing their very best – their acceptance of / decision for Jesus, their completion of a confirmation process, their baptism, their sincere efforts at Godly obedience, their adherence to a catechism, etc.  In short, like Cain they bring some product of their own doing, their works – all the while not even considering “…that they do evil.” (Eccl. 5:1).

     Accordingly, consider the equivalent of the sacrifice or offering that you present before God in worship.  That is, consider the basis upon which you approach God for acceptance – for salvation.  If it is by genuine, God-given faith it will be akin to the sacrifice of Abel.  Conversely, if your salvation is based upon anything other than (or in addition to) the satisfaction Christ rendered in His obedience unto death (the blood of the cross), it is to bring the sacrifice of Cain – the “sacrifice of fools” brought by those who have yet to see (by the eye of faith) that such worship is actually evil in God’s sight.