Genesis 4; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 68, 71–79
We honor God when we live peacefully with others.
“ ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God’ ” (Matthew 5:9, NIV).
Jerry was angry! His brother, Jimmy, had a new bike and Jerry got his brother’s old one. Jerry was jealous. He wanted a new bike too. So one day Jerry just took Jimmy’s bike and went for a long ride.
The Bible tells about two brothers. One was jealous of the other. And a terrible thing happened.
After they left the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain became a farmer. Abel became a shepherd. Every day Cain worked in his fields while Abel took his sheep to graze.
Abel loved God. He wanted to do the things God asked. He liked bringing gifts to God, and he loved to worship Him.
Cain was different from his brother. He didn’t want to do what God wanted, he wanted to do his own thing. Cain didn’t want to think about what had happened to their parents.
You remember what happened. God told Adam and Eve that they could eat from any tree in the Garden except one. If they ate from that tree, they would die. But Adam and Eve listened to Satan and ate fruit from the tree.
They did not die right away, but they had to leave their beautiful home. God told them about His plan to send His Son to die for them. But it would be some time before Jesus came to the earth. So God found a way to show Adam and Eve what it meant to die.
After Adam and Eve sinned, God clothed them with the skins of animals. And as they watched the flowers die and the leaves fall from the trees they began to understand a little bit about death.
Then God showed Adam how to make an altar of stones. He showed him how to take a perfect lamb from the flock and place it on the altar. Adam was to kill the lamb and offer it as a sacrifice. Sacrificing an animal was a way for Adam and Eve to say they were sorry for their sin. It was also a way to show that they believed the promise that Jesus would come. This sacrifice was to remind Adam and Eve that Jesus would die for their sins. Adam and Eve felt terrible when they understood this.
When they were old enough, Cain and Abel learned to sacrifice animals for their worship too. Abel accepted God’s promise that Jesus would die for him. He wanted God to know he trusted His promise to send a Saviour. So he built an altar and sacrificed a lamb from his flock.
God accepted his offering and sent fire from heaven to burn it up.
Cain knew why they should offer sacrifices to God. But when it was time for him to make a sacrifice, he did not do it God’s way. He built an altar just as Abel had done. But he put fruit and vegetables that he had grown on the altar instead of the lamb that God asked him to use. God didn’t accept Cain’s offering. He didn’t send fire from heaven to burn it up.
Abel tried to tell Cain to do what God said. But Cain was stubborn. He was angry because God didn’t accept his offering. He was angry at Abel too. He was so angry that he killed his brother! God sent Cain away from his family after that. If only Cain had done as God asked! If only he hadn’t become jealous and angry. If only he had been a peacemaker. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to kill a lamb for your worship?
Aren’t you glad that Jesus came and died to save you? Just pray to God and say, “I’m sorry for my sins. I accept Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, the One who died for my sins.” He will hear you. He will accept you into His family. He will help you to be loving and kind at all times.