Bible Study · Random

Does It Really Matter That Cain Sacrificed Plants?

I see people have strong opinions about this.

“Plants are hard to grow and take time.”

“He didn’t offer a blood sacrifice.”

Who’s right? And…does this argument really matter?

Please feel free to disagree with me 🙂 I bring this up because I’ve heard both sides and have been engaged in both conversations. But there are some things I want to point out.

We SHOULD only rely on the scripture we are given, and understand what the time period was like for the brothers.

Meaning:

  • The Law was not created at this time.
  • We don’t know precisely how they were told to offer sacrifices, or in what way.
  • It’s crucial we look at scripture

I’ve brought up my point before that I think it’s a heart issue, and again, that’s okay if you disagree 🙂 But here’s my point.

To be clear, when I refer to the heart, I mean a relationship with Christ, in this case, the boys’ relationships with God. The heart also represents the state of our spirit. Our actual core of who we are, and let’s be honest, our hearts can be pretty dark at the core.

God sees this.

Scripture does give us a few clues about what was happening.

First, God’s actual thoughts on the boys and their sacrifices.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 2.53.34 AM.png

God’s Respect For The Brothers

Genesis Ch. 4:04-05

It says that (v.4) God respected Abel and He respected Abel’s offering. But God did not respect Cain, and He did not respect Cain’s offering.

So it is very possible that even before the sacrifices, that God was not respectful of Cain, which we later see for good reason.

I also want to point out a fellow sister in Christ I know, she thinks Cain did offer an incorrect sacrifice but agrees with me that his heart was in the wrong place. She posed the question should his heart have been right with God, he would have had the proper offering.

God did find the sacrifice and Cain himself disrespectful. Whether the sacrifice was disrespectful because of what was offered, how Cain offered it (the state of his heart) or a combination, it’s interesting to think about.

Cain’s Pride In Self Accomplishment?

Even later in scripture when the Law is created, God gets sick of the festivals and the sacrifices. He wants His people to go to Him and have the right heart. 

(NLT) Hosea 6:06, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.”

Which is why I wondered if it is a heart issue for Cain, and still think it might be. However, to the point of “planting is hard, Cain worked hard.” I realized writing this post verse 12 (Ch. 4), part of God’s punishment to Cain, “When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” 

This means wherever Cain later travels he will not able to stay there. He will not be able to farm consistently. Once the ground tasted his brother’s blood, it refused to yield to him as God’s punishment.  Sidenote: I went and got some gardening items after writing this post, I couldn’t help but be aware of plant food like bone marrow and blood. Knowing this piece of scripture about Abel’s blood and the ground…just changes how I look at plants needing these things to grow.

We are told in Adam’s punishment the ground would not be easy to till, and that man would sweat, toil, and work through thorns and thistles (Ch. 3:17-19) However, from what the Lord was saying, I wonder if Cain took pleasure in his crop, if he was skilled at farming. To the point, a seed of pride was already growing.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 2.57.02 AM.png

Murder, Like Other Sin, Begins In The Heart

Murder does not happen immediately. Christ spoke of this warning. Even if we do not murder, but harbor anger, we can be in the same judgment as if we murdered.

(NIV) Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”

We are further shown in scripture where Cain’s heart was at.

(NIV) 1 John 3:12, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”

(NIV) 1 John 3:15, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

Is it really about the sacrifice itself or what was leading up to the sacrifice?

Cain had an issue, and God knew he had an issue. God warned him, and Cain fell into temptation.

How easy is it for us to get tripped up about the things we struggle within our own hearts? The very things God warns us about, too. 


Monthly Scripture –(NKJ) Proverbs 18:13, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”

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8 thoughts on “Does It Really Matter That Cain Sacrificed Plants?

  1. I have heard some people talk about what Cain offered but I have not heard anyone really arguing against the state of his heart. I have always thought/believed it was the state of his heart and this reflected through out the text

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the heart is the main issue, and what is harbored inside is shown outwardly. I’m not opposed to the idea that perhaps about of this it also affected his sacrifice (prideful, for example, or jealousy against his brother when offered). I don’t know if we can gain much from a debate on the sacrifice alone, but definitely a lot on the multiple scriptures used to discuss the heart ❤ It's true, at least people agree Cain's heart was in the wrong place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All roads lead to the heart. I’ve heard it taught that Cain brought the left-overs of his crop instead of the first portion or highest quality. If this is true it would reflect Cain’s lack of regard for God – like you were saying. Now I’ve got something to dig into. Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great way to put it! The heart reflects actions. I’ve never heard that, but that’s a good point about whether or not it was left overs. Wow! Again, this would reflect a selfish and prideful heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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