Cain and Abel

Age 5+: Read Genesis 4:1-16
Under 5: Read about Cain and Abel from a children's story bible or the short summary below.

After Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they had two sons: Cain and Abel. Cain was the older son and he worked in the fields as a farmer, tending to the plants. Abel was a shepherd and took care of the flocks and herds. Once his plants had grown, Cain brought some of the first fruits as an offering to the Lord. Abel picked the best of his lambs and brought those to the Lord for his offering. Both of the sons made a sacrifice to God, but God liked Abel's sacrifice better. This made Cain feel jealous, angry and very sad. God spoke to Cain and asked why he was sad. He warned him that he must calm down. But Cain would not.

Later, when the two brothers were out in the field, Cain killed Abel. Wasn't that a terrible thing to do? When God asked him where Abel was, Cain lied and said he didn't know. Of course God knew what happened. He told Cain, "Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground." God had to punish Cain for his sin. Cain would no longer be a farmer - the ground would not grow plants for him as it had before, and he would be forced to wander the earth with no place to call home. Then God put a mark on Cain so that anyone who found him would not kill him.

Preschool questions:
What are the names of Adam and Eve's first two sons? Cain and Abel.
What happened to Abel? Cain killed him.

Elementary questions:
What is a sacrifice? To give up something of value to God.
What was Cain's offering to God? First fruits of his fields.
What was Abel's offering to God? Firstborn of his flocks.
Whose sacrifice did God like better? Abel's.

Preteen application:
Why did Cain murder Abel?  He was jealous and resentful, and could not control his temper.
What punishment did God give Cain? He was exiled, and marked on his forehead.
Have you ever done anything you knew was wrong and then tried to cover it up? Answers vary.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did.” (NIV)

Journal (age 8+) Copy memory verse, write why you think God warned Cain about his anger, and write down any prayer requests.

Journal (age 3+) Draw and color a picture of Cain and Abel presenting their offerings to God. Copy memory verse if able.

Optional Activity: Discuss why you think God preferred Abel's sacrifice to Cain's. (Refer to Hebrews 11:4, indicating that Abel brought his offering by faith. Cain did not. Instead Cain offered to the Lord what he thought was acceptable, according to his own presumption and not by faith.)

Prayer: Praise and thank God, ask for forgiveness, submit any prayer requests.

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