Cain and Abel
4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the Lord." 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 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. 6 The Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?[b] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to[c] you, but you must rule over it."8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." 13 Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.[e] 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." 15 Then the Lord said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden
Evidently, Abel gave his offering from the heart and Cain just out of obligation. How much off your day do you spend doing things out of obligation instead of doing it with the sense of honoring the Lord with your heart? Probably a lot, right? I know I do.
We are all sinful like Cain. Yet, because the Holy Spirit lives in us we are able to serve the Lord with our heart. Our offerings, therefore, can and should be given with the heart. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
If you decide in your heart to not giving an offering at all, that's so much worse, because then you have no joy in your heart toward God.
Cain hated God and so he took it out on his brother. He had no love for God. He had no regard for God so God had no regard for him. When God convicted Cain of his sin, Cain finally repented, and God gave him grace. Cain was afraid that someone would take revenge on him and kill him, but God put a mark on him so no one would. We don't know what the mark was, maybe it was the first tattoo, maybe it was a big birthmark, we don't know. Whatever it was, when people saw it, they knew not to harm Cain.
God has marked us too by baptism and through His Word and Sacraments. We are marked for eternal life. Satan cannot harm us. Praise the Lord!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for marking us even though we don't deserve it. Make us to give generously and with a joyful heart, because that is the kind of offering you regard and accept. Amen.
Tues- Quilting 9-2; Council Meeting 7
Wed- Sewing Pillowcase Dresses 10-noon; Ladies Aid meeting noon; Choir 7
Thurs- Karate 5:30-7:30; Lutheranism 101 6:30pm; Nov/Dec Newsletter items due
Fri- Basement reserved 5-10pm; Bible Study at Hendershot's 7pm
Sat- Fischer/Sellman Wedding 2pm; Worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; Chapel 11; Bible Study with Pastor 6-7:30
WORSHIP WORKERS FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND:
Acolyte- 8:30- Dawn Sherman 11- Luke Rausch
Ushers- Marv Hendershot, Don Luebke, Dave Callies, Don Nolte
Altar- Set up- Ruth Walters ; Clean Up- Lynn Russell and Elaine Schauer
Elders- Sat- Dave Winter; 8:30- Don Turnure; 11- Jim Rahn
Greeters- 8:30- Bob and Marianne Linke; 11- Joan Sexton
Lay Readers- Sat- Sandra Perricone 8:30- Lois Boeger; 11- Jim Rahn
Piano- Sat- Molly Hendershot
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Projectionists: No projection this week
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ: What evil thing did Eliashib the priest do? He provided a large room for his friend Tobiah in the temple which had been used as a storeroom for all the stuff that was used in the temple.