The Bible Project

Generosity Q&R: Overpopulation, Cain's Sacrifice & Manna Hoarding - Generosity E5

Episode Summary

What were Cain and Abel really doing when offering sacrifices in Genesis? Does Jesus want us to sell all our possessions? Explore this question and many others with a new perspective as we dive into your questions on Generosity.

Episode Notes

Welcome to our Q+R for our series on Generosity. Tim and Jon respond on this episode to six questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions!

Below are the questions with corresponding timestamps.

Raphael from Austria (1:36):
My question is, in this modern age with trending topics like overpopulation, climate change, and running out of resources in many parts of the Earth, how can we understand or apply the mindset of abundance and that God in a generous host? Thanks for everything you do and for helping me reshape my biblical paradigms so that I may now understand the biblical story in a whole new way.

Nadia from the UK (11:27):
My question is with Cain and Abel: isn't it because the Lord looked on Abel's offering more favorably because he brought the best, the fattened part of his flock and the firstborn of his flock? In comparison to what Cain brought, which was just some of the fruit; it doesn’t say it was the first fruits or the best of, it was just some, and therefore, God looked more favorably on Abel’s, which is why Cain’s was rejected. Thanks!

Seth from Cincinnati (12:03):
You guys have discussed the reasons for why God favored Abel over Cain. The author of Hebrews says, "By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4). ...We can infer that by contrast that Cain's must not have been offered by faith. What do you think of this interpretation?

Lauren from Indiana (30:00):
I love the parable you have going and that we make choices based on fear that abundance will stop, and we need to hoard. That immediately took me to Exodus 16 and the manna that Moses told them to not leave any until morning. Of course, some people did anyway, and it was spoiled. To me, that's a really obvious example of your parable, but are we supposed to be mapping that onto Genesis specifically, or was that just a happy piece of serendipity?

Nathaniel from New Orleans (35:56):
You've focused on how the human self-protective instinct and greed will ruin the party for everyone. But I was curious as to how natural disasters in Scripture—whether they're portrayed as a time of punishment for the wicked or time of testing of the righteous, or or both—how those interact with the image of God as generous host. Thank you very much, and God bless.

Secret from Wisconsin (48:00):
My question was: is there a specific context that we should have in mind when Jesus tells the Young Rich Ruler to go sell all his possessions, and give them away? Just because I know that in some cases it's not very wise to give away all you have because then you become dependent upon other people to help you, and you can't really help people yourself in the way you could if you had those resources. Thank you guys so much.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Tents

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Resources:
Christopher J.H. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God

Powered and distributed by Simplecast.