Text: Genesis 4:3-12; Hebrews 11:4
Prop: picture of sheep
Summary: The story of Cain and Abel demonstrates God’s requirement for sacrifice and how we respond to it.
Today I want to tell you about the story of Cain and Abel. It comes from Genesis, the first book in the Bible. Cain was the older brother. He was a gardener or farmer (a tiller of the ground). Abel was the younger brother. He was a shepherd. The Bible says that Cain brought a fruit offering. Perhaps these were the finest fruits that Cain had grown. He was probably very proud of the work he had done to grow them and considered them worthy to be a sacrifice. Abel brought a sheep for the sacrifice. He raised the sheep from his work in the field also.
It is God that establishes a requirement for a sacrifice that causes the loss of life of the sheep or animal. God was setting an early example of what would lead to the ultimate sacrifice: Jesus, the Lamb of God, and his sacrifice on the cross.
As we learn later in Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. God was showing us that sin has an extremely high price to be paid to bring us back into relationship with God. It required that a life be paid.
Now how we respond to God’s requirements is called obedience. If we obey God, we are showing that we are ABLE to be called his children. The younger brother Abel was “righteous” because he obeyed God. If we disobey God, we cause Him and ourselves much PAIN. That pain is the sin we continue in for not following his rules. If we do not obey our parents, we usually get into trouble. That trouble is usually followed by some sort of discipline, such as a spanking. And that is very painful.
Cain did not obey God and it got him in trouble. He became angry that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted but his sacrifice was not. He was so mad that he killed his own brother. God punished him by driving him into the land of Nod, meaning that he was left to wander the earth. He cursed him and made it hard for him to farm. That was very painful for Cain to live with.
Hebrews 11:4 says By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it, he being dead yet speaketh. The death of Abel was awful, but through his death he was ABLE to show us that God judged his sacrifice of the lamb to be acceptable for covering sins.
You may show that you love and obey God by obeying your parents (Ephesians 6:1). Today, when they tell you to do something, remember that if you obey them, you are obeying God. If you obey God, you are showing that you are ABLE to be called God’s children. But if you don’t obey God or your parents, then you will get into trouble and that will cause PAIN.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.