Genesis 4:1-5 ESV
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 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, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.
Why did God regard Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s?
It has nothing to do with the fact that Cain offered grain and Abel offered a lamb. While it is true that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22 ESV) there is no indication that this was an offering for sin.
It is possible that the Lord regarded Abel’s offering because Abel sacrificed the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions, while Cain’s offering was rejected because he only brought an offering of the fruit of the ground, rather than the firstfruits or the best fruit. However, this is still speculation, and I prefer not to speculate when Scripture gives a clear answer.
Hebrews 11:4a (ESV) tells us:
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts…
Offerings don’t impress God, only faith does. Biblical faith is not a blind leap, but an active trust in God.
F.A.I.T.H. = Forsaking All I Trust Him