The History of God in His Union With Man, Ch. 5, Sec. 2 of 8


We want to continue to see God’s history in time in the book of Genesis. We have seen that in time God worked to restore the judged universe and create man (Gen. 1:2—2:25). Then He saved man from his fall (ch. 3). In this chapter we will see how God worked on His saints from Abel to Noah and judged the world from Cain to Babel. The record of this history is from Genesis 4 through the first part of Genesis 11. This portion of the Word is only about seven and a half chapters, but all the items recorded in this short part of the holy Word are very, very crucial. My burden is to help us to know, to realize, to enter into, and to experience the Christian life. Actually, this line on the history of God in His union with man is still on the Christian life.

If we do not know what God did with Abel, with Seth, with Enosh, with Enoch, with Methuselah, and with Noah, we still do not know what the Christian life is. All these persons lived the Christian life. We may ask, “Was Abel a Christian?” He was not a Christian, but the life he lived was a Christian life. His life was a model, a type, of the Christian life. Abel was a shepherd of sheep, and sheep at Abel’s time were used for sacrifices. They were not used for food, because at that time God had not ordained that people eat animal meat (1:29). It was not until after the flood that God said that man could eat meat (9:3). Sheep at Abel’s time were not for food but for offerings to God.

Have you ever realized that the first full-time co-worker was Abel? He raised up sacrifices for God’s offering. This was his job, his work. This was also his kind of living. Abel was a person doing nothing on the earth but offering to God. Genesis 4:4 says that God had regard for Abel and for his offering. How good it was that Abel was a full-timer doing nothing but living for God! Abel was not in the line of good and evil. He was in the line of the tree of life, living for God and living to God.

Those of us who are serving the Lord full time should compare our full-time service with Abel’s. When we compare ourselves with Abel, we probably need to say that we are part-timers, not full-timers. Abel was living a life that was absolutely for God; his living was for God, not for food, for eating. Abel’s elder brother Cain was the opposite. Cain was living for his daily necessity, for food.

Abel lived on God in a spiritual sense, and he lived on what God did, on what God provided, in a physical sense. If we are full-timers, we should live as Abel did. We should not live on anything worked out by ourselves. Cain was different from Abel because he lived on what he did. He was a farmer producing food for himself. Thus, we can see that it is not too much to say that Abel lived a Christian life. If we live the Christian life merely according to what the New Testament teaches, that is not adequate. We have to come back to the Old Testament to see the first typical full-timer for God—Abel.

© Living Stream Ministry, 2021, used by permission