Paul Vahue, Administrative Pastor
Cain, The Casual Gardener
As a horticulturist and avid gardener, I see this passage differently. From the very beginning, God intended man to work in the garden.
Cain worked the soil. I assume this encompassed pulling weeds, watering, watching for bugs, and keeping the ground friable. He would spend a lot of time overlooking the crop, knowing every plant. He would know which plants provided the best fruit. Very similar to a shepherd watching over his sheep.
When people come to my house, if there is produce available from the garden, I carefully select the best fruits. I look over each plant. I inspect each fruit for blemishes and appearance. I only give the best available to my guests. I would be anxious if I had to select a tomato for God.
Now Cain’s garden was flourishing. He had a wide variety of plants and fruits to choose from. When the time came to bring an offering to the Lord, Cain did like many of us. He rushed to get ready to meet the Lord. Like Sunday mornings church, we make decisions based on completing the task, not giving the Lord our best. Do we get up early to meet the Lord at home via prayer, scripture reading, and worship music? Do we arrive on time to drop the kids off, visit with church family, and sit before the music starts? Have we prepared our offering? Did we even make an offering? Remember the widow’s two small coins? When worship begins, have we laid it all on the altar? Have we brought the sacrifice of praise into the sanctuary?
Cain went to the garden, grabbed a basket, and filled it with produce. His offering was plentiful. It was not the first fruit. Cain did not give God his best. Cain was angry. He felt like he honored God in his offering. He did not take the time to hand-pick the best of what he had to glorify God. Are you being a good steward and giving God your best?