Today's Foundations Devotional: Supernatural revelation demands supernatural confirmation
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.
If we study the whole record of Scripture carefully, we find that this supernatural testimony to the truth of the gospel is in line with God’s dealings with His believing people through all ages. Whenever God has committed truth to man by divine revelation and man has been willing to obey that truth, God has always been willing to bear supernatural testimony to the truth which He reveals.
We find this at the very outset of human history in the account of the offerings brought to God by Cain and Abel (see Gen. 4:3-8). These two different types of offerings are typical of two main patterns of religion through the subsequent history of man.
Cain brought the fruit of the ground – but it was ground that had already come under God’s curse (see Gen. 3:17). Cain’s offering was the product of his own reason and his own works. There was no revelation of God; no acknowledgement of sin, with its ensuing curse; no acknowledgement of the need for a sacrifice to make propitiation for sin.
Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, which he offered in sacrifice. By this act he acknowledged the fact of sin and the need for a propitiatory sacrifice with the shedding of blood. This came to him not through his own reason but by divine revelation. His religion was based not on his own works but on faith in God.
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts (Heb. 11:4).
As already explained earlier, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). That is, it is based on the revelation of God through His Word.
Because Abel received and obeyed such a revelation, God was pleased to bear supernatural testimony to his offering. Most commentators believe that the supernatural fire of God from heaven fell upon Abel’s sacrifice and consumed it.
On the other hand, God refused to give His approval to Cain’s offering.
And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering (Gen. 4:4-5).
Lord, after what I’ve learned today, I would like to pray with David as he
wrote in Psalms 139:23-24: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.’ Amen.