The Best Of Our Best?

Q. Re: If You Do What Is Right You’ll Be Accepted. I’ve read another interpretation in a Children’s Bible guide that seems to make more sense to me. It says, “Cain’s offering was unacceptable because it wasn’t the best of his crop that he brought forward to God. His heart was in the wrong place. He wasn’t truly offering God anything except lousy crops. Where as Abel was giving God the best of his best.” What do you think?

A. The person who wrote this commentary missed the central point of the entire Bible, which is “Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament the blood of innocent animals was required as a sin offering. In the New Testament we learn that these animals were representative of the Lord’s once-for-all sacrifice on our behalf. Abel’s offering required the shedding of innocent blood and that’s why it was acceptable.

In my opinion teaching anyone, but especially children, that God won’t accept anything from us but the best of our best should be a punishable offense. In the first place there is no sense in which Genesis 4:2-7 conveys that idea. In the second place the best of our best is still woefully inadequate where God is concerned. But most importantly Jesus Himself said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt. 19:14) Teaching children that God won’t accept anything but the best of their best can be a major hindrance to the development of their relationship with Him.

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