In the fourth chapter of Genesis is the account of Cain and Abel. Able brought a sacrifice from the flock and it was accepted. Cain was a tiller of the ground; so he brought a sacrifice from his labors. His sacrifice was not accepted. There has long been a controversy of why Abelís sacrifice was accepted by God and Cainís was not. The grain offering in the Old Testament was accepted, so it could not have been rejected for that reason.
Cain was a tiller of the ground. Man was formed from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Therefore, the ground is symbolic of manís flesh nature. Cain being a tiller of the ground typifies those who try to please God by disciplining their flesh nature. But that which is produced by our own energies and self-discipline cannot please God. Disciplined flesh is unacceptable. It is only that which God brings forth within us by His grace that is acceptable to Him. This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6. It is only as we decrease in our own abilities, both in human power and in the might of human intellect. As John the Baptist said, He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). The more we try to discipline ourselves to be holy, the more we close the door to His grace. Disciplined flesh is unacceptable!
Copyright © 2000 by Henry DuBose