The ONE THING for today

Duty & Delight

  • Genesis 4:3, 5 (NKJV) And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord…but [the Lord] did not respect Cain and his offering.

Theologians, scholars and regular folk like you and me have debated why God did not respect Cain and his offering for centuries.

Why indeed did God not accept Cain and his offering?

We know for example that bringing a harvest offering to God was a regular part of the people of God’s worship.

For example Leviticus 23:39 (NKJV) states: ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.

But notice with me the rest of God’s instructions (Leviticus 23:40)

  • 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 

In other words they were not just to dutifully bring a certain portion of their harvest to God, i.e. pay their tithes, they were to add a little pizzazz.  They were to intentionally gather up fruit of beautiful trees, palm branches, leafy branches and willow branches and weave together what they called a “lulab” (Hosanna) and have a week-long party (sounds Pentecostal to me 🙂 ).

The ONE THING is this: Whether it is worship, work, home-life, or anything else—what pleases God and brings us fulfillment is not the duty part (which must be done, by the way) but when we go beyond duty and intentionally create fun, joy, rejoicing and celebration.

Yesterday was Sunday (like the Sabbath-rest) and eight days later will be another Sunday— just like in biblical times, and that is a good thing. But let’s not forget what I suspect Cain forgot, let’s remember to make the six days in the middle days in which we go beyond just duty and intentionally weave together a week of delight—not just for ourselves, but for all who share this week with us.

If you do this, I suspect next Sunday God will respect you and be delightfully pleased with fruit of your labor that you bring to His House of Worship.

I know this…you’ll be better for it.


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