[quote=Shibboleth]The offering of Able was made by and through his faith – it was not Abel’s offering so much as the offering of his faith. Cain’s work on the other hand was done by him outside of his faith for selfish reasons. Works of this nature are rejected by God.
I think you have a good point, but I think that perhaps it is more to it. May be it’s a way to tell the brothers that God wants animal sacrifices (at that time). Perhaps it is a test for Kain. He has a lot of reactons he can chose after he had his sacrificeis rejected. As an example he could have joined Able in the next sacrifice.
Kain, as we know, got envious in stead. He also gets so angry that he lose his temper and kills his brother. He makes three sins at once and afterwords he rejects God when God is giving him an opportunity to confess. His **inabillity to trust in ** God and **seek reconsilation ** are his next sins.
When he fails to trust God and to seek reconsilation he is “thrown away” (even if the loving God puts a mark on him so others can’t harm him).
We will all meet tests on our road to holyness. The choice how to act is ours!