Lesson 5 - The Birth of Cain and Abel

    Suggested Bible Reading: Genesis, Chapter 4:1-16

    The Gift of Life

    After God announced the curse upon Adam and Eve for their sin against Him, He then removed them permanently from the Garden of Eden. Life became very different and very difficult for Adam and Eve because of their rebellion against God. Adam and Eve began to labour to grow their own food and provide the necessities of life. No longer did they enjoy the wonderful provision from God, as they had in the Garden of Eden.

    However, in the process of time, God did bless their family with the birth of two sons, Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Adam and Eve recognized that the birth of their son, and the gift of life, was a gift from God Himself. It would do us well to remember that ALL life is a gift from God. We do not have a right to choose whether we will keep or destroy human life. God alone has the power to give human life, and God alone has the authority to take away human life.

    Although the birth of these boys was indeed a great gift from God, they also did receive the curse of the sin nature of their father Adam. The Bible says in Psalm 51:5, “Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” God’s Word teaches us that every child inherits a sin nature from his father, at the very moment of conception. This sin nature is a deceitful, wicked, love for sin that is bound in the heart of every person. As a little baby is born into the world, every parent thinks about how sweet and innocent their little child is. However, it does not take long to realize that in every sweet little baby is a sinful heart capable of committing great acts of sin, violence, and wickedness against God and others. The story of Cain and Abel demonstrates the sad reality of the wicked sin nature that is bound in the heart of every person.

    Will You Agree with God?

    As the boys, Cain and Abel, grew older, they began to develop skills to survive and provide the needs of life. Cain began to grow fruits and vegetables in the garden, and Abel began to raise sheep. The Bible says in Genesis 4:3-5, “And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an offering unto the Lord. 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: but unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” Both of the boys had been instructed by their parents that they were to worship the Lord with an offering. It was a good thing for Cain and Abel to bring an offering to the Lord. However, God did not want just any kind of an offering. God had given Adam clear instructions that the offering to the Lord was to be a blood sacrifice of an innocent animal.

    Abel followed the instructions and brought a sheep for his offering to the Lord. As he killed the sheep and burned it on the altar, it was a picture that the only way for sin to be paid for was by the shedding of innocent blood. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22, “without shedding of blood is no remission (of sin).” However, not just any blood of any animal can pay the price for our sin. The Bible also says in Hebrews 10:4, “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin.” In order to pay for the price of man’s sin, there needed to be the sacrifice of a perfect man’s blood. The only perfect man that has ever lived on this earth is the God-Man, Jesus Christ. He came with one purpose, to give His life as a ransom for many. Abel’s offering of a sheep did not really pay for his sin, but was a picture that he believed that one day the innocent Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) would sacrifice His own body and blood to pay for the sins of the world. As Abel gave his offering to God, God was well pleased with his faith and obedience and accepted the offering from him.

    Cain also brought an offering, but he did not follow God’s instructions. He gave no regard to God’s instructions to bring an animal sacrifice, and chose instead to bring some fruits and vegetables that he had grown in his garden. Apparently, Cain believed that the good will of his heart to bring an offering to God should be the only thing that mattered. However, the Bible says that God did not accept the offering from Cain. Cain was quite displeased with God when he saw that he was not accepted with God, but that his brother Abel was.

    Cain was acting in a similar manner to many people that live today. God has given very clear instructions that the only way to come to Him is by faith in Jesus Christ. However, there are great numbers of people today who are hoping to be accepted with God because of their baptism, church attendance, good works, or some other religious exercise. Jesus Christ said in John 14:6, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” God’s way is very clear, and Cain should have agreed with God and followed His instructions. God’s way for us is also very clear. Will you agree with God?

    Cain Murders Abel.

    The Bible says in Genesis 4:8, “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” God took the time to give Cain more clear instruction about how to bring a proper offering; however, Cain rejected God's offer of help and killed his brother Abel! Cain was selfish and disobedient. His attitude turned into hatred and murder. Since we know Abel's offering was accepted by God, we know he went to be with God in Heaven.

    The Bible says in Genesis 4:9-11, 16, “And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; ... And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” Although God asked this question to Cain, he already knew the answer and wanted Cain to confess. Any evil committed against another person is also committed against God, because He is the creator of all people. Cain still would not listen to God and was removed from God's presence. He followed Satan's ways, refusing to change his attitude toward God and toward his disobedience. He never admitted his guilt and need of forgiveness. As a result, he was never accepted by God. When he died, his spirit was forever separated from God and placed in the Lake of Fire. Cain should be a warning to all people. We don't want to make the same choices Cain made. He was stubborn and selfish. He lost his opportunity to be with God after death. His decision was very foolish.

    Let us think about a branch that has been broken off from the tree. It will die when it is separated from the life it received from the tree. There is no way to join a dead branch back onto the tree so it will live again. Man is born separated and "detached" from our source of life, who is God. Most people spend their lives trying to find a way to "reattach" themselves to the source of spiritual life, but there is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to restore us to God. Disobedience has broken us off from God just like the limb was broken off the tree. God rejected Adam and Eve's clothing, and God rejected Cain's offering because they tried to be accepted by God with their own works. Only God was able to make a way so they would be accepted. Every person born into this world is separated from God. However, God provided a way for all of mankind to be accepted by Him and after death live with Him for all eternity in Heaven. This is what the message of the Bible is all about.

    God Gives Another Son.

    The Bible says in Genesis 4:25, “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." God gave Adam and Eve another child named Seth. God promised to send a Savior and would have come through the line of Abel, but Satan guided Cain to kill Abel. Satan tried in every way to hinder God's plan to send the Savior, but no one can fight against God and win. God planned to bring the Savior through Seth's lineage. Do you think Adam and Eve's descendants learned from their mistakes and poor choices? We will find out in our next lesson how good or bad they became.

    Study Questions

    1. Every person that is born into this world begins life with a sin nature.
    2. God accepted Abel’s offering because…
    3. God rejected Cain’s offering because…
    4. God gave Cain another chance to bring the right offering, before he killed his brother.
    5. Cain decided to reject his pride and follow God’s instructions.
    6. The only perfect man that has ever lived on this earth is .
    7. What was God’s judgment on Cain after he refused to bring the proper offering and killed his brother Abel?
    8. Is there anything that you can do to restore yourself to God?

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