“3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Genesis 4:3-7
In my understanding these verses show the consequences of Cain coming to God in his own way, in his own wisdom.
He has offered God what he wants, not what God specified.
How often do we do what Cain did? How often do we come to God on our own terms rather than His terms?
Just look at Christmas and Easter as a examples. Nowhere does God tell us to decorate trees or eggs as an offering to Him; nowhere does God tell us to buy and swap presents with others as an offering to Him; nowhere does God tell us to borrow elements from the heathens to give as an offering to Him.
What does He ask of us? What does God say is an acceptable offering to Him?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
How does God tell us to remember Him and point others to Christ? Is it with nativity scenes, bunnies, hams, tinsel? No.
“After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26
Let us remember that the account is a shadow of Jesus to come. It points to the presentation of Jesus as a living sacrifice which was holy and acceptable to God.
So let us approach God how HE tells us to rather than in our own ‘wisdom’ and logic. Let us not be like Cain, but like Abel, who did as God required.D
***Here is a good read as well. This person goes into much more detail than I about the same thing. It’s a must read whether you celebrate Christmas or not.