The Real Reason God Rejected Cain’s Offering

Why is it that God rejected Cain’s offering, but found Abel’s offering acceptable?

“3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.” (Gen. 4:3–5 ESV)

The answer I was taught as a child in Sunday School was that Cain’s offering was inadequate because it wasn’t an animal. The idea underlying this is that for an offering to be acceptable to God it had to be a blood sacrifice.

Others have proposed that the offering was rejected because it was the fruit of the ground. Since the ground had been cursed (Gen 3:17) anything that grew from the ground was somehow tainted and unacceptable as an offering. Is it true that God only accepted animals as offerings? 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Misconceptions, Worship