Archibald Alexander (1772-1851)
“But, after all, it is an undeniable fact, that reason, aided as it was by tradition, left men to grope in the dark, and to fall into the most degrading idolatry. Indeed, although reason may teach that there is a God, and that he ought to be worshipped; yet, of what kind his worship should be in order to be acceptable, she never has made known, nor is it within the reach of her ability. All the rites of worship invented by man are altogether unworthy of God; and, truly, it is in the nature of things impossible, that men should devise a form of acceptable worship, for no service of this kind can be pleasing in the sight of God, which he has not himself appointed. Now, if men have lost the knowledge of the original institutions of religion; or, if these have become altogether corrupt, there must be a new revelation, before man will be able to render an acceptable service to his Creator. There is good reason to believe, that many of the heathen rites of worship, are nothing else but corruptions of divine institutions, which were given to man by an early revelation. …Reason, certainly, never taught men that shedding the blood and taking away the life of an animal, could be an acceptable sacrifice to the deity; or, that presenting it on an altar, and consuming it wholly or partially by fire, could be a propitiation for sin; and yet these mysterious ceremonies were almost as universal as the gift of speech. … These, and many other striking resemblances, in the rites of ancient nations, go to prove, incontestably, that they must have had a common origin; and no account of this is half so probable, as that which ascribes sacrificial rites to an original revelation, which brings us to see the credibility of the Mosaic history, in regard to the origin of religious worship.”[i]
Monday: Read Genesis 4:1-15
Adam lived in the presence of God, and it is said he walk by sight and not by faith. How did Abel walk? How did he model his belief? What did Cain do wrong? Since both were sinners, what was the difference in their relationship to God? In these verses we see God has established the acceptable way to worship Him. Contrast Abel’s worship with Cain’s, and give an explanation why one was acceptable and one wasn’t.