Encouragement for your daily walk with God
William Shakespeare is not my favorite author by any stretch of the imagination. In my high school English class, we read several of his plays and were assigned a short passage to memorize and recite in front of the class. I was assigned Marc Antony’s speech in Julius Caesar. I still remember part of it…
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar.”
There is a biblical ring to that. Death is never the final word in the life of an individual. When we exit planet earth, be it righteous or unrighteous, we leave something behind. Do you want a biblical example of this? OK, there’s Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s first sons.
God accepted a sacrifice that was brought by Abel, but rejected the one offered by Cain [Genesis 4:4-5]. Abel's was an offering by faith. In contrast, Cain’s was offered in self-righteousness, the reason for it being rejected. In an act of jealous rage, Cain killed his brother, becoming the first person to take the life of another human being. And now he leads the list of those who attempt to approach God in self-righteousness. Cain tried it and failed miserably, as have untold billions after him.
What Cain left behind was a legacy of rebellion, heartache, and judgment. Abel, on the other hand, left us a legacy of righteousness, justice and faith, which, by the way, is the central message of redemption, “The righteous [just] shall live by faith” [Habakkuk 2:4].
You are preparing your legacy now. I hope yours is one of righteousness, justice and faith, one that inspires another to follow suit. The character of your life will determine the legacy you leave to others.
By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. Hebrews 11:4