By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
I. ABEL AT THE ALTAR.
1. The principle of the offerer — "Faith."
2. The material of the offering — "A more excellent sacrifice."
(3) Surprising. "More excellent than Cain."
(a) The privileges of both were the same.
(b) The mother esteemed Cain, but ignored Abel.
(c) Revelation was very meagre.
(d) The bad example of a constant associate. Wickedness is contagious. The religion of Abel was sin-proof. The Divine in him was mightier than the satanic in his brother.
II. ABEL THE RECIPIENT OF A DIVINE TESTIMONIAL. Previously we saw Abel giving to God; here we see him receiving from God. Those who give also get (John 1:12).
1. The testimonial. "Righteous" — justified — absolved from all wrong — accepted as one right in all his relationships — with conscience, the world, death, judgment, God.
2. The testifier, "God." The authority is the highest and the truest. The keys of destiny hang at His girdle. His smile is heaven.
III. ABEL THE PROCLAIMER OF DIVINE TRUTH. "Being dead, yet speaketh." Most men speak before death; many speak when dying; but Abel speaks after death. There is a peculiarity in the influence of Abel. He teaches —
1. That fallen man may again approach God.
2. That worship must be through the medium of sacrifice.
3. That acceptance with God is the highest favour.
4. That a godly life is immortal in its influence.
(B. D. Johns.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
WEB: By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks.