Who Can Fool God?
by Judy Webb
Cain and Abel, one of the first Bible lessons I learned, is a story of two brothers, a shepherd, and a farmer. On the surface there did not appear to be much to it. Cain killed his brother and when confronted by God, the murderer asked the famous question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
I never gave this narrative much thought. But now, having this topic to write about, I can dig in and discover what we might learn today. A reason always exists when a well-known scripture is assigned for me to write about. First: I should never assume that I grasp what it means, and second: a lesson most definitely exists and God is trying to educate us.
"Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor." (Genesis 2b-5a)
Why the displeasure with the older brother's gift? The text does not show that these items had rotted. So, what happened here? Mulling over this question, I was drawn to Psalm 139 where it all came into focus. Go ahead, read the Psalm, and tell me if it isn’t now quite clear.
1: You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
Our Lord did not need Abel to say that the things he presented contained the best product. God knew his heart and understood how much he loved Him. Likewise, God held the same access to Cain’s innermost thoughts.
2: You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
God rejected Cain's because it came from a heart filled with jealousy and contempt, not love. God accesses our thoughts and our motives too; it is impossible to fool Him.
God, Thank you that you know us so well and it is only because you love us deeply and unconditionally, that we can be assured of salvation. May Your watchful eye and loving heart keep us focused and firmly planted within your will.