The Story of Cain and Abel
Dealing with anger and jealousy
Cut circles out of yellow card stock and draw happy, sad, and angry faces on them and glue them to a craft stick for use in telling this Bible story.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)
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Have you ever given a gift to someone who did not like what you had given him or her? How did you feel when they opened your gift and you saw the look of disappointment on his or her face? What kind of look did you have on your face? Was it a happy face? (Hold up the happy face.) Was it a sad face? (Hold up the sad face.) Was it an angry face? (Hold up the angry face.) Other people can often tell how we feel by the look on our faces.
Our Bible lesson today is about two brothers named Cain and Abel. They were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was the older brother and Abel was the younger brother. When they grew up, Cain became a farmer and Abel became a shepherd.
When it was time for the harvest, Cain brought some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift to the Lord—the very best lamb from his flock. The Lord accepted the gift of Abel, but he did not accept the gift of Cain. The Bible doesn't tell us why the Lord did not accept Cain's gift. Perhaps Cain did not give the best that he had. Or maybe his heart was not right with God. But whatever the reason, the Lord did not find Cain's gift acceptable.
How do you think that made Cain feel?
The Bible tells us that Cain was sad and angry. (Hold up the sad and angry faces.) The Lord took one look at Cain's face and asked him, “Why are you so angry and why do you look dejected?" The Lord continued, saying, "You will be accepted if you do what is right. And if you don’t do right, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”
Do you think Cain took control of his anger?
No, he did not! The Bible tells us that some time later, Cain said to Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother and killed him. Cain's anger had taken total control of his life.
God knew what Cain had done and he knew that Cain must be punished. “Your brother’s blood is still on the ground. Your punishment is that nothing you plant in the ground will grow. You will just wander around the earth finding food wherever you can.”
What can we learn from the story of Cain and Abel?
We can learn that disobeying God brings trouble and unhappiness. (Hold up the unhappy face.) But if we obey God, we can be happy while we live on this earth. (Hold up the happy face.) We should also take notice that even though Cain was punished for the wrong that he did, God still loved him and protected him. He would not allow others to harm Cain.
Father, we want our life to be acceptable to you. Help us to let you be in control of our thoughts and actions so that our gifts will be pleasing in your sight. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.