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. ~Hebrews 11:4
There are several brothers in the Bible that are noteworthy characters. There is Esau and Jacob, Moses and Aaron, Hophni and Phinehas, James and John, and Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel are the first two brothers in the Bible. In Hebrews 11, Abel is the first hero of faith who is mentioned. We are told that he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Let us see how Abel speaks to us.
We see Abel and his belief.
“By faith Abel....” Able is noted for his faith. Faith is necessary for salvation. He had faith in God’s requirement for salvation: the shed blood of an innocent victim for his sins. Faith is necessary in pleasing God. "The just shall live by faith." We are to live by faith. This demonstrates our obedience to God’s Word and dependence upon Him to do for us what we cannot do. He believed in the Person and power of the Lord.
We see Abel gave his best.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” In Genesis 4:4a, we read “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” He built an altar for his sacrifices. He offered on that altar the firstborn of his flock and the fat thereof. The burning of the fat brought a sweet-smelling savor to God. This is symbolic of the prayers of the believer. His sacrifice demonstrated giving his best in worship to God. His sacrifice testified that he obtained the righteousness which is by faith.
We see that Abel was beloved.
“God testifying of his gifts.” In Genesis 4, it says that God had respect unto his offering. Abel’s sacrifice is recorded in Scripture as a testimony of faith and obedience. God wanted the many generations following Abel to identify with his faith and sacrifice. God points the sinner to Abel, that the more excellent sacrifice is the substitutionary death of Christ for sinners. Then, He points us to Abel to see that worship that pleases God is heartfelt, costly, and fully devoted.
We see Abel and his bearing.
“...And by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Abel has been dead for over 6,000 years. However, his faith in the shed blood is still speaking. God gave us Abel as an excellent example of a witness that keeps on speaking long after we are gone. Dr. Curtis Hutson gave instructions for the plan of salvation to be written on the back of his headstone where he would be buried. All who walk the place where his headstone is will read how they can be saved. In Myanmar, formerly Burma, are descendants of the first converts of Adoniram Judson. A rich Christian heritage passes down the faith to every generation. In these examples, he being dead yet speaketh. I think of a man who was saved in the fourth quarter of his life and went home to be with the Lord a few years later. I had the privilege of preaching his memorial service and giving the gospel. Seventeen adults stood up to testify that they received Christ as Saviour when I gave the invitation. He being dead yet speaketh.
Abel still speaks today through his sacrifice and testimony. Live your life so that after you are gone, your witness and gifts keep speaking.
Have a gospel-centric God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 37-39