Cain and Abel

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
God gave Adam and Eve two sons, whom they named Cain and Abel. I am sure they loved their boys, and told them of how sin came into the world by their dis­obedience and then of how God clothed them in the coats of skins. No doubt Cain and Abel both knew the story well, but what a great difference there was between the way they received it. Abel believed it, for he knew that he was a sinner, and he saw that the death of another must come between himself and God, or he could not be accepted. Cain was careless about it and thought that the works of his own hands were good enough to be presented to a holy God.
Fitness of Offerings
So they both brought their offerings to the Lord. Cain brought his first. It was the fruit of the ground which God had cursed, and there was no blood shed. How could God accept such an offering from Cain in his sins? He could not. Then Abel brought his offering, and what a difference! He brought “the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” He acknowledged that death was what he deserved, but the little animal died in his place, and God accepted him and his offering.
Sometimes we hear people say that God accepted Abel because he was good, and rejected Cain because he was bad. No, boys and girls, they were both bad sinners, but Abel was ac­cepted because his sacrifice answered to God for his sins, and pointed on to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God. These two brothers had the same opportunities of hearing the right way. Perhaps you have a Christian father and mother who have often pointed you to Christ. Have you accepted Him as the One who died for your sins? Knowing the way will not save you. You must come yourself.
One Offering Rejected
When Cain’s offering was rejected, he was very angry. Many people today get very angry when you tell them that their own works will not fit them for the presence of God, and that they need Christ as their Saviour. They don’t like to hear about the blood of Christ. God told Cain “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” The way was still open for him to bring a sacrifice which God could accept, but he would not. And the way is still open for you, unsaved one. “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:77Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Hebrews 4:7)).
Cain was first envious of his brother, then he began to hate him, and this led to murder. Oh, boys and girls, let us be careful of envy and jealousy. If you are saved, you can ask the Lord Jesus to help you not to envy others. If you find those feelings in your heart, you should pray for the friends you envy, and ask God for grace to be specially kind to them. You will then soon get the victory and love them, but if you don’t do this, you will get away from the Lord in your soul and end up by doing something very naughty.
Further Meditation
1. Why did God accept Abel’s offering and not Cain’s?
2. Jealousy and anger can lead to many other sins. How was anger a major part of Saul’s life? What damage did it cause?
3. The book Plain Papers For Young Believers by A. T. Schofield has a helpful chapter on the subject of anger. The article is also freely available at and can be found in a library search for article number 53629.