Once again, I write to you today from Washington State and the wonderful Northwest corner of the U.S. – It is good to be home with family enjoying summer days and summer life. I am writing again today on the subject of honor.
The very first family of humanity demonstrated a testimony of honor to God in the offerings given by the sons of Adam. Abel’s offering was one of honor, while Cain’s offering was a self-focused and self-willed action. Abel’s offering to God was not something given to God for God’s sake. It was something given to God for man’s sake. He didn’t give his offering to God to get something from God. He gave his offering because he was inspired by who He recognized God to be in his life. Abel, a human being, needed to recognize whom God was. He recognized that God was the first and God was the best. There was no commandment. There was only a revelation of honor. He recognized that God was the first and God was the best. It was therefore easy to give God the first and the best because he understood in His heart who God was. Because He saw who God really was it was easy for Him to give offerings that were expressions of who God was. God honored Abel because Abel’s offerings were ones of honor to Him.
In the life of Cain, the first born, it was different. Cain was busy working the ground. He was growing crops. His main focus in life was what he could do. He was concerned with what he could create. His ambition was towards what land he could possess. He was busy looking at what came out from his own labors in the earth. He wasn’t looking at what came out from another. Cain was the first, before any other human being was born, not created, but born. Before his brother Abel was born Cain was the first and Cain was the best. There were no other born human beings. Before there was a single child added to the family he was the first and the best born on planet earth. But he did not recognize who he was because he did not recognize who God was. So his focus in life was what he could create. His ambition was for what could come from his own labors in the earth. His ventures were for how successful he could be, and then in the back of his mind as a second thought he knew that he should also remember God. It says of Cain that after a process of time he gave an offering to God. Cain did not have an offering problem. He gave God an offering. Cain had an honor problem. His vision of honor was in the wrong direction. His vision of honor was, “What can I accomplish in life?” He should have turned the other direction and asked the question, “Father what have you determined about me in life? What have you determined about us in life? God You are the deliverer, the One who gives freedom, and sets at liberty! You are the First and you are the Best.” The one human being on planet earth who was the first and the best should have recognized the source of his being. He was the only human being on planet earth that at one point in history it could be said he was the first and he was the best. The moment his little brother was born, he was one of two. Before his little brother was born he was the only one. It should have been easy to receive a revelation that he was the first and he was the best. He should have asked himself the question, “Why am I the first?” Because God is the first! “Why am I the best?” Because God is the best! You see, Cain didn’t have a revelation of honor. Honor lives in the realm of revelation. Honor is found in truth. Honor is a culture of truth. It comes by a living reality of an understanding that comes by love. In the story, what does Cain do? Cain proves to be a dishonorable man. He does not recognize who God is and he is therefore not able to recognize who members of the family are. He could not see his brother Abel as an expression of himself. He did not see him of the same DNA, of the same family destiny. He did not recognize that his brother was precious, one of a kind. He did not recognize that he could not live without his brother. He didn’t understand that by himself he was not the fullness of family, but with his brother they were the first of a great inheritance. He was now willing to destroy his brother, not realizing that if he destroyed his brother he would be destroying the family inheritance. So he kills his brother and God walks in the neighborhood. He says, “Cain, have you seen Abel? I have been looking for Abel, have you seen Him?” If Cain had understood honor it would never bother him if God the Father came and said, “Have you seen Cain?” “Have you seen your brother?” If he had a revelation of honor he would gladly help God find Abel. Now, we know in the story Abel was dead so his brother cannot look. He responds to God in a tone and manner of dishonor. “What am I? Am I my brother’s keeper?” Where there is no honor there is a reaction to honor, to the source of honor. Cain says, “What am I? Am I my brother’s keeper? Who do you think I am? Do you think I am you?” Cain’s reaction was full of accusation. It was like saying, “He is not my job! He is not my responsibility! If you can’t find him he is not my problem.” Honor recognizes that who we are is dependent upon who all of us are. Now Cain had killed Abel and God said to Cain, “What is this I hear crying out to me. Why is the ground crying out with the blood of Abel.” The earth had been dishonored. The ground had been dishonored because something greater than the ground had been brought down to its level. A child of God had been treated with the same value as the dirt and now the earth was crying out because it had been defiled. It could not honor Abel anymore. The earth wants to honor humanity. Honor gives value to another for who they are. A child of God had been sacrificed and now the earth was bound from fulfilling its destiny. You see, the blood of Abel was a dishonor in the earth. Honor has to do with destiny. As a result a curse came into the earth and God had to deal with the situation with Cain. God had to deal with a dishonorable situation with honor. I will write next week in regard to God’s honorable remedy for the dishonor that was bound in the earth.
We must honor God, and we must honor the likeness and the image of God above all other created things. To honor created things above the Creator and His children is to dishonor the earth. The earth wants to honor mankind, but when mankind dishonors the earth, the ground cries out for the true children of God to manifest in honor! That honor is honor to the Father, and honor to the Father’s children. This creates a cultural generation of honor where the hearts of the children are for the fathers and the hearts of the fathers are for the children. It is then that the earth rejoices and yields its fruit in great blessing.
Ted J. Hanson