By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)
The Faith Of Abel
It is difficult to imagine how the world looked in the days of Adam and Eve post-Eden. Created and placed in the beautiful garden by the Lord, Adam and Eve had no peers, no history, and no books written thousands of years previous and little to go on as to the lessons of life. The first days after being expelled from the garden must have been incredible. A shelter had to be provided, food gathered and the common necessities of life realized. What was it like when Adam first created fire? When did he plant his first crop? The sun and moon that dazzles the sky today is the same heavenly bodies Adam and Eve gazed upon those first days of the earth. When Eve became pregnant with Cain no one was there to tell her what was happening and certainly Adam marveled at the process of birth. Then a second son was born, Abel and other children. As the story of early earth unfolds the two brothers Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to the Lord. Worship has always been a part of the relationship between God and man. It would seem likely Adam and Eve offered sacrifices to the Lord and taught their sons faith in the Creator Lord. The first son of creation was a man of impure motives and the Lord did not accept his sacrifice. His brother Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice and God signified the righteousness of his faith.
Faith comes from hearing and this can only come from the word of God. The character of faith has always come from listening to the will of the Lord as directed by the author of the law. Those who obey the will of God today are the recipients of nearly three thousand years of history to read and understand the mind of God. The law given to Moses was written over a thousand years before the birth of Christ. It has been two thousand years from the writings of the early church. The Bible is the complete revelation of God’s will to all men produced in written form so that all men can read and understand what they must do to be saved. What did Abel have? Where was the lineage of spiritual history dating back thousands of years that he could rely upon to serve his God? His parents were the first man and woman of all humanity. They could stand at the edge of Eden and tell about the joys found inside the garden when they walked and talked with God in the cool of the day. The four rivers of Eden reminded Adam and Eve of the beauty found in the garden: Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel and the Euphrates. Barred from entering the garden, Adam and Eve could only tell Abel of the days spent in the presence of God. Abel learned faith in the Lord God to do all that was asked of him. His faith was rooted in the short time man existed on earth and yet his faith still speaks to all men today.
God has revealed Himself through the written word to bring men to His Son Jesus Christ. Many struggle in giving their faith to the will of the Lord and yet Abel – who had so little to compare as men find today – offered up his sacrifice in complete faith finding favor with the Lord because of his righteousness. The Bible does not reveal what level of faith Abel had and what he understood about the whole scheme of things comparative to the eternal plan of God but what is known about Abel is that he had simple faith to do what was asked of him and he obeyed. His righteousness was not based on three thousand years of knowledge compiled in a book. The will of the Lord was what motivated Abel to offer a sacrifice that pleased his heavenly Father. In so many ways we are blessed to have the body of knowledge preserved through the centuries to guide our faith, build our faith and establish our faith in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. What is sad is how little we know about the word of God and how challenged our faith becomes when we do not know how to offer acceptable worship to the Lord. Abel still speaks today and his voice is loud. If he were living today he would preach a message of repentance. The sweet incense of his sacrifice still permeates the gospel of the heavenly Father to exhort His people to learn from the life of Abel, son of Adam and Eve. He obtained witness that he was righteous. God testified to all men since the beginning of time of the gift of sacrifice offered by Abel. And though Abel is dead, he still speaks.