Abel was a simple shepherd, tending his flocks in the fields. He made offerings to God regularly from the first and best of his animals. God honored Abel’s offerings. Cain became angry and killed him.
We really don’t know much more than that about Abel. He his never mentioned again in the Old Testament, and his name reappears only a handful of times in the New Testament. Even so, his example and his fate were well known to Jesus, and the righteousness of his offerings still teaches us lessons today. Honoring God with the first and best of your gifts is the only way to truly honor God.
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow is a “doxology,” which means an expression of praise to God. The words most often sung in English speaking churches were written by Thomas Ken, a Bishop in the Church of England. Ken had a gift for writing verse and a passion for honoring God. The Doxology that we sing today was actually used as the closing verse for two other hymns that Ken wrote.
Most hymns until Ken’s time had been sung directly from scriptures, usually the Psalms. When he shared his new hymns with students at Winchester College, Ken instructed them to use them only in their rooms. The succinct statement of praise in the Doxology could not be held in those rooms, though. Today it is sung in thousands of churches by millions of Christians whenever they come together, usually at the time that offerings are joyfully given, just the way that Abel did.
Rejoice in the greatness of God as you read the words:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise Him, all creatures here below;
praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
God is great! Remember this as you walk the path to the foot of the cross.
Follow the Path!
[Use with Honoring God in His Way, day 13 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]