Joan Winifred » March 28, 2018
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appreciation attitude Breathing-Fragile-Life faith family Joan Winifred

ABEL Bodied SPIRITUAL Man

How do You put a price on the priceless??… when you “attempt” to monetize the priceless, you actually devalue it… but, because at this moment in time, cannot come up with a better aka more appropriate illustration… Your parents are beyond billionaires… and because of an extremely selfish decision they didn’t consider you whatsoever or (your future)… in comparison to what your parents once had…you’re worse off than homeless and you’re worse off than penniless!…because what is a home or pennies IF you’re cursed/terminally ill with DEATH; hopeless?? nah!!

Beautiful, perhaps (?) on the outside, but UGLY, corrupted and rotting on the inside… Abel’s parents, Adam & Eve, STUPIDLY squandered and forfeited his “priceless” inheritance of perfect-health and perfect-never-ending-eternal-life in a perfect-park, Eden… oh no? Oh, Yes…

Sobering thoughts for “honest” reflection…because all of us have had good things and bad things happen to us and our families/ancestors… (and as parents we have a privilege/responsibility to try and bring out the best in our kids, and to “hopefully” provide a positive example worthy of even a “little” imitation.;))

Parents today can learn much from those first parents. By your words and actions, will you feed your children’s pride, ambition, and selfish tendencies? Or will you teach them to love Yahweh/Jehovah God and to seek friendship with him? Sadly, the first parents failed in their responsibility. Yet, there was hope for their offspring. [excerpted readings: He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks w 13]

There is no Scriptural record that God spoke to Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden. Still, Jehovah did not conceal himself from their sons. From their parents, Cain and Abel no doubt learned what had occurred. They could see “the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24) These men also witnessed the truthfulness of God’s declaration that sweat and pain would become the realities of life.—Genesis 3:16, 19.

Cain and Abel must have been aware of Jehovah’s words to the serpent: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Genesis 3:15) What Cain and Abel knew about Jehovah would enable them to develop an approved relationship with him.

Reflecting upon Jehovah’s prophecy and his qualities as a loving Benefactor must have generated in Cain and Abel a desire for divine approval. But to what extent would they cultivate that desire? Would they respond to their innate desire to worship God and develop their spirituality to the point of exercising faith in him?—Matthew 5:3.

In due course, Cain and Abel brought offerings to God. Cain presented fruits of the ground, and Abel offered firstlings of his flock. (Genesis 4:3,4) These men may then have been about 100 years old, for Adam was 130 when he became father to his son, Seth.—Genesis 4:25; 5:3.

Their offerings indicated that Cain and Abel recognized their sinful state and desired God’s favor. They must have given at least some thought to Jehovah’s promise concerning the serpent and the Seed of the woman. Just how much time and effort Cain and Abel devoted to developing an approved relationship with Jehovah is not stated. But God’s reaction to their offerings provides insight into each one’s inmost thoughts.

Some scholars suggest that Eve viewed Cain as the “seed” that would destroy the serpent, for at Cain’s birth she said: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” (Genesis 4:1) If Cain shared this belief, he was totally wrong. On the other hand, faith accompanied Abel’s sacrifice. Thus, “by faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain.”—Hebrews 11:4.

Abel’s spiritual insight and Cain’s lack of it was not the only difference between these brothers. There was a difference in attitudes as well. Therefore, “while Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering, he did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering.” It is likely that Cain gave little more than superficial thought to his offering and merely went through the motions of presenting it. But God did not approve of mere formal worship. Cain had developed a bad heart, and Jehovah discerned that he had wrong motives. Cain’s reaction to the rejection of his sacrifice reflected his true spirit. Rather than seeking to set matters straight, “Cain grew hot with great anger, and his countenance began to fall.” (Genesis 4:5) His bearing betrayed wicked ideas and intentions.

Knowing Cain’s attitude, God counseled him, saying: “Why are you hot with anger and why has your countenance fallen? If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?”—Genesis 4:6,7.

The inspired account continues: “After that Cain said to Abel his brother: ‘Let us go over into the field.’ So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.” (Genesis 4:8) Cain thus became a disobedient, cold-blooded murderer. He showed not even an inkling of remorse when Jehovah asked: “Where is Abel your brother?” Rather, in a callous and insolent manner, Cain retorted: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s guardian?” (Genesis 4:9) That outright lie and denial of responsibility exposed Cain’s heartlessness. [excerpted readings: Brothers Who Developed Different Attitudes w 02–my highlights]

How do i react to counsel? Do i make excuses or take responsibility? What’s my attitude? arrogant? humble?

Abel’s Attitude and Faith…speaks LOUDLY from the dust!…{i LOVED the following past readings about Abel!! Hoping these highlights (help fill in any gaps/intervals or) incite new exciting thoughts and applicable insights which will potentially en-ABEL You:) spiritually and water Your spiritual growth!!:)}

Abel speaks to you today. Can you hear him? You might say that such a thing is impossible. After all, this second son of Adam died a long time ago. His remains are long lost, mingled with the dust of nearly 60 centuries. Regarding the dead, the Bible teaches us: “They are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10) Further, Abel never uttered a single word that is recorded in the Bible. So how can he speak to us?

The apostle Paul was inspired to say this about Abel: “Through it he, although he died, yet speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4) Through what does Abel speak? Through faithAbel was the first human ever to develop that sterling quality. So powerfully did he demonstrate faith that his example is alive, a vibrant standard that we can apply today. If we learn from his faith and seek to imitate it, then the record of Abel is speaking to us in a very real and effective way.

Abel was born near the dawn of human history. Jesus later associated Abel with “the founding of the world.” (Luke 11:50, 51) Jesus evidently meant the world of people who have the hope of being redeemed from sin. While Abel was the fourth human to exist, it seems that he was the first one whom God saw as redeemable.*(The expression “the founding of the world” involves the idea of casting down seed, suggesting procreation, so it has to do with the earliest human offspring. Why, though, did Jesus connect Abel with “the founding of the world” and not Cain, who was the first human born? Cain’s decisions and actions amounted to a willful rebellion against Jehovah God. Like his parents, Cain does not appear to be in line for resurrection and redemption.) Clearly, Abel did not grow up among the best of influences.

Though the world was young, a pall of sadness hung over the human family. Abel’s parents, Adam and Eve, were likely beautiful, dynamic people. But they had fallen far in life, and they knew it. They were once perfect, with the prospect of eternal life before them. Then they rebelled against Jehovah God and were banished from their Paradise home in the garden of Eden. By putting their own desires ahead of all else​—even the needs of their offspring—​they lost perfection and eternal life.​—Genesis 2:15-3:24.

Exiled to life outside the garden, Adam and Eve found their existence hard. Yet, when their first child was born, they named him Cain, or “Something Produced,” and Eve proclaimed: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” Her words suggest that she may have had in mind the promise Jehovah made in the garden, foretelling that a certain woman would produce a “seed” that would one day destroy the wicked one who had led Adam and Eve astray. (Genesis 3:15; 4:1) Did Eve imagine that she was the woman in the prophecy and that Cain was the promised “seed”?

If so, she was sadly mistaken. What is more, if she and Adam fed Cain such ideas as he grew up, they surely did his imperfect human pride no good. In time, Eve bore a second son, but we find no such high-flown statements about him. They named him Abel, which may mean “Exhalation,” or “Vanity.” (Genesis 4:2) Did the choice of that name reflect lower expectations, as if they put less hope in Abel than in Cain? We can only guess.

True, Jehovah had placed a curse upon the ground, causing it to produce thorns and thistles that impeded agriculture. Still, the earth generously produced the food that kept Abel’s family alive. And there was no curse on the animals, including birds and fish; nor on the mountains, lakes, rivers, and seas; nor on the skies, clouds, sun, moon, and stars. Everywhere Abel looked, he saw evidence of the profound love, wisdom, and goodness of Jehovah God, the one who created all things. (Romans 1:20) Meditating appreciatively on such things strengthened his faith.

Abel surely took time to ponder spiritual matters. Picture him tending his flock. A shepherd’s life required a great deal of walking. He led the gentle creatures over hills, through valleys, across rivers​—ever seeking the greenest grass, the best watering holes, the most sheltered resting-places. Of all of God’s creatures, sheep seemed the most helpless, as if they were designed to need man to guide and protect them. Did Abel see that he too needed guidance, protection, and care from Someone far wiser and more powerful than any human? No doubt he expressed many such thoughts in prayer, and his faith continued to grow as a result.

Jehovah said that the ground would be cursed. Abel could clearly see the thorns and thistles that fulfilled those words. Jehovah also foretold that Eve would suffer pain in pregnancy and childbirth. As Abel’s siblings were born, he no doubt learned that those words came true as well. Jehovah foresaw that Eve would feel an unbalanced need for her husband’s love and attention and that Adam would, in turn, dominate her. Abel saw that sad reality playing out before his eyes. In every case, Abel saw that Jehovah’s word is completely reliable. Thus, Abel had solid reasons for putting faith in God’s promise about a “seed” who would one day right the wrongs that had begun in Eden.​—Genesis 3:15-19.

Abel did not find any good examples in the human family, but humans were not the only intelligent creatures on the earth at that time. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, Jehovah made sure that neither they nor their offspring would gain access to that earthly Paradise. To guard the entrance, Jehovah posted cherubs​—very high-ranking angels—​along with the flaming blade of a sword that turned continually.​—Genesis 3:24.

Imagine Abel seeing those cherubs when he was a boy. In their materialized form, their appearance surely bespoke immense power. And that “sword,” ever flaming, ever turning, inspired awe as well. As Abel grew up, did he ever find that those cherubs got bored and left their post? No. Day and night, year after year, decade after decade, those intelligent, powerful creatures stayed right in that spot. Abel thus learned that Jehovah God had righteous, steadfast servants. In those cherubs, Abel saw a kind of loyalty and obedience to Jehovah that he could not find in his own family. Surely that angelic example strengthened his faith.

Both sons of Adam may have used altars and fire for their offerings, perhaps within sight of the cherubs, who were the only living representatives of Jehovah on earth at that time. Jehovah responded! We read: “Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering.” (Genesis 4:4) How God made his favor evident, the account does not say. But why did he favor Abel?

Was it the offering itself? Abel did offer a living, breathing creature, shedding its precious lifeblood. Did Abel realize how valuable such a sacrifice would be? Many centuries after Abel’s time, God used the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb to picture the sacrifice of His own perfect Son, “the Lamb of God,” whose innocent blood would be shed. (John 1:29; Exodus 12:5-7) However, much of that surely lay well beyond Abel’s knowledge or understanding.

What we know for certain is this: Abel offered up the very best of what he had. Jehovah looked with favor not only on the offering but on the man himself. Motivated by love for Jehovah and by genuine faith in him, Abel acted.

It was different with Cain. Jehovah “did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering.” (Genesis 4:5) It was not that Cain’s offering was faulty in itself; God’s Law later allowed the offering of the produce of the ground. (Leviticus 6:14, 15) But the Bible says of Cain that “his own works were wicked.” (1 John 3:12) Like so many to this day, Cain evidently thought that the mere outward show of devotion to God was enough. His lack of real faith in or love for Jehovah quickly became apparent through his actions.

When Cain saw that he had not won Jehovah’s favor, did he seek to learn from Abel’s example? No. He seethed with hatred for his brother. Jehovah saw what was happening in Cain’s heart and patiently reasoned with him. He warned Cain that his course was leading toward serious sin, and He offered hope of “an exaltation” if Cain would only change his ways.​—Genesis 4: 6, 7.

Cain ignored God’s warning. Instead, he invited his trusting younger brother to walk with him in the field. There Cain assaulted Abel and murdered him. (Genesis 4:8) In a sense, Abel thus became the first victim of religious persecution, the first martyr. He was dead, but his story was far from finished.

Figuratively, Abel’s blood cried out to Jehovah God for vengeance, or justice. And God saw justice done, punishing wicked Cain for his crime. (Genesis 4:9-12) More important, the record of Abel’s faith speaks to us today. His life span​—perhaps about a century long—​was short for humans of that era, but Abel made his years on this earth count. He died knowing that he had the love and approval of his heavenly Father, Jehovah. (Hebrews 11:4) We can be confident, then, that he is safe in Jehovah’s limitless memory, awaiting a resurrection to life in an earthly paradise. (John 5:28, 29) Will you meet him there? You may if you are determined to listen as Abel speaks and to imitate his outstanding faith. [excerpted past readings…He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks w 13]

Have always enJOYed account of Abel –outstanding example of Faith and looking on the bright-side of things and being grateful for what You do have…and making the best of things despite difficult family issues…and Never Giving Up Hope… things can improve… be redeemed/salvaged!!:)
3/27/18 @ 10:02 p.m.
P.s. Also Abel’s example teaches appreciative meditation is crucial to spiritual health (among other things).
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