|Vol. 2, No. 4||Page 8||April 2000|
Cain and Abel
In Genesis, we read about Cain. Cain was the first child born to Adam and Eve. They must have been very excited about having their first child. I am sure they were happy and sorrowful. They were surely happy that they had a new baby, sorrowful because they could not rear him in the Garden of Eden. Cain was born after they were cast out of the Garden by God.
Adam and Eve probably taught Cain about God. They more than likely told Cain about God's love and God's justice. God loves every person. God wants every person to live according to his laws. But if a person does not live right, God will punish him.
Cain grew to be a man. He knew God's laws about what kind of sacrifice God wanted. But for some reason, Cain decided to give the kind of sacrifice that he wanted to give God. God was not pleased with Cain's sacrifice. This made Cain mad. But what really made Cain mad was that God accepted his brother Abel's sacrifice.
This should not have made Cain mad. Abel had obeyed God. Abel had given the right kind of sacrifice. But Cain now had anger in his heart. And Cain allowed that anger to grow into hatred. And then the hatred led Cain to kill his own brother.
God was very displeased with Cain and punished him. Cain had to live the rest of his life with the memory of killing his own brother. Adam and Eve must have been very sad about what Cain had done.
You might be saying that you would never do what Cain did. It might be true that you would never kill your brother or sister. But 1 John 3:15 says that if you hate your brother, you are a murderer. So, if you have any bad thoughts about your brother or sister, you better get rid of them. Because if you keep them, you are the same as a murderer in the eyes of God. And God will punish you.
Do not be like Cain. Obey God. Do what he wants you to do. Do not give God what you think would be best. Give God what he says he wants. The only way to do that is to read and study the Bible. Learn what God wants. And then do what he says.
In the first few chapters of Genesis we also read about Abel. He was the second son of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve must have taught Abel the same things they taught Cain. They taught him to have faith in God and to obey his commandments.
Abel must have enjoyed hearing his parents tell about the Garden of Eden. And he probably was able to see first hand the angels standing at the entrance to the Garden. They were put there by God to guard against any man re-entering the Garden. He knew that if he did not obey God that God would punish him. His parents had certainly taught this lesson to him.
So, Abel brings a sacrifice to God that God had commanded. Abel was doing what God wanted. Abel did not decide to bring something that God did not want. Abel pleased God. Abel obeyed God out of a desire to please him.
But sometimes when a person obeys God, it can make other people angry. This is what happened with Cain and Abel. Cain got angry and killed Abel. When you obey God, it may make other people angry. This does not mean they will kill you, but they may treat you badly.
You must be like Abel. Obey God first. Do not let what other people think about you keep you from doing what God wants you to do. Make sure you please God, even if by doing so you displease other people.
Abel is listed among the heroes of the faith in Hebrews Chapter Eleven. Abel will live with God in heaven forever. Follow the example of Abel and you will be able to live with God forever also.
Have you ever seen a building on fire? Or have you ever been close to a large fire? Do you remember how hot it was? Did your parents tell you to stay away from it? Did you watch as whatever was being burned slowly just burned completely away?
Have you ever been burned? Perhaps you touched a hot dish or plate. Perhaps you put your hand on a hot stove. Do you remember how bad it hurt?
God wants everyone to go to heaven. He has given us his Word, the Bible, so that we can know what to do to obey him and get to heaven. But God also is a God who will punish those who do not obey him. He does not want to punish anyone, but he will do it if any do not obey him.
In Hebrews 12:28, we read that those who are in the church, the kingdom, are to serve God with reverence and godly fear. And then in verse 29 he tells us that the godly fear is based on the fact that God is a consuming fire.
This means that God will not overlook sin. If a person refuses to obey him then that person will not go to heaven. Instead, he will suffer in hell. God will put him in hell. This is what is meant by God being a consuming fire.
Imagine a hot fire that never completely burns you away. Imagine being burned and not being able to heal the burn. You are constantly being burned. You are constantly hurting. You are constantly very, very hot. There is nothing you can do to stop it. And it never ends.
Decide to obey God the way he wants you to do. Read the Bible. Study the Bible. Learn more and more about how to serve God. Make the decision that you will always do what he wants you to do. Make the decision that you want to go to heaven ¾ not to hell.
If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.