By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
Why did Abel offer a pleasing sacrifice to God? It was a matter of faith. He had no promise that he’d be rewarded for sacrificing his livestock which he worked so hard to raise. There was no promise of punishment if he failed to do what God had asked. Instead, he simply wanted to please God and had faith that this would be a good thing.
Because of Abel’s faith, he was considered righteous in God’s eyes. He didn’t ask questions about why he should present a sacrifice. He didn’t inquire about what was in it for him. Instead, he knew that God had asked for something from him and he responded.
Abel didn’t receive an earthly reward for his faith. His obedience aroused the jealousy of his brother and led to his murder. This was certainly not what he had in mind when he obeyed God and presented a pleasing sacrifice. But Abel received a heavenly reward as he was considered righteous in the sight of God.
Even more, Abel lives on as an example of faith and righteousness for all Christians today. We are called to respond to God in faith just as Abel did. Likewise, we should follow his example by giving our best to God.