7 Lessons From The Story Of Cain And Abel
KEY SCRIPTURES: Genesis 4:1-16; John 4:24
John 4:24 “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
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Cain and Abel were born to Adam and Eve after God turned them away from the Garden of Eden. Cain was the first child and soon followed by Abel as the second son. Both grew up in the same house and under the same doctrine by their parents. Cain was a farmer while Abel was a Shepherd. From their story, both are taught the ways of God because we learnt both came to offer sacrifice to God which simplifies that their parents must have been sacrificing to God as a means of worshipping God which was common then. Though they have the same teaching concerning sacrificing to God, their lives turned out differently. Both came to sacrifice to God; one was accepted and the other rejected because their heart attitudes were different. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s own. Due to this, Cain was angry but instead asked him to go back to God in prayer and ask why he wasn’t accepted so he can make amends but instead resulted in being envious of his brother’s blessings. He was angry with his brother as if it was Abel’s fault that his sacrifice was not accepted. God had to ask him why he was angry and even told him the cause why his sacrifice wasn’t accepted. His jealousy grew to the point that he killed his brother Abel. Killing his brother didn’t guarantee that God would end up accepting his sacrifice which simplifies that when God blessed our friends, family, or neighbor, we should not be envious of them, but we should rather pray for ways God will bless us too.
Cain wasn’t remorseful for killing his brother and when God asked him about his brother, he resulted into being arrogant and rude to his maker. He didn’t see anything bad in what he did and because of this, God cursed him, and he was separated from his family and friends. When we should learn to give a quality sacrifice to God so that we can be accepted by Him. Cain should have learnt from his brother Abel ways and why his sacrifice was accepted and do better next time but instead, he allowed the devil to rule his heart with anger and from anger, it resulted in killing his brother, being rude to God and later was cursed by God. There are many lessons to learn from this story and in this article, we will be mentioning 7 lessons from the story of Cain and Abel.
- GIVE QUALITY SACRIFICE: Psalms 51:17
Cain bought some of his farm produce while Abel brought the fatted portions of his flock. Cain came to the altar of God with an offering that’s not from the heart, he didn’t commit the sacrifice to heart before presenting it to God. It is not about the quantity of the sacrifice; it is the quality that matters, and God searches the heart to know if the sacrifice is given freely or grudgingly. As Christians, following Abel’s example, we should strive to give our best in every area of life. Giving reflects the heart of the givers, all our sacrifices should be to honour God. If we wouldn’t want anything from someone because they showed a lack of care, we shouldn’t do it to others. Like Cain and Abel, God knows our heart and sees what we were truly giving.
2. DON’T ENVY OTHERS:
God corrected Cain of doing the wrong thing by offering an unworthy sacrifice after he asked him why Cain was angry. Instead of him to yield to correction and give a worthy sacrifice next time, he began to envy his brother Abel, thinking it was because of him, his sacrifice wasn’t accepted by God. Envy can lead to many wrongdoings, it is better to avoid being envious of others, rather we should consider what others had to do to get good results from God. Cain allowed his envy to grow into anger and later graduated into him killing his brother. As believers, we should be careful when we start becoming envious of others because it can lead to us doing things not accepted by God. Search out ways they do things that are pleasing to God and being aware of these things they had to do to get what they got may cause you not to envy them at all.
3. LEARN TO DO THINGS RIGHT:
Cain knew he was meant to give God sacrifice which might have been taught to him by his parents which is an act of reverencing God as the maker and ruler of the universe. This simplifies that he was meant to honour God in all areas. God had already fulfilled his promises to him by giving him a good harvest from his crops, no natural or man-made disasters on his farm. God blessed the work of his hands, and he was supposed to do the right thing by bringing a worthy gift back to God to appreciate him for a good harvest. Abel did the right things after God blessed his livestock; his appreciation gifts were accepted because he did things right. Cain refused the fact that there is a right way of doing things. You can’t bring a worthless sacrifice and expect a clap. Believers should learn from this, when God fulfilled his promises in your life, learn to do things right by bringing a worthy sacrifice back to him. Don’t be forced or cajoled before you do the right thing. Learn to be appreciative in giving back too.
4. LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Ephesians 4:26
In Cain and Abel’s story, we learnt that we should be open to corrections and learn to control our emotions. After God had corrected Cain for doing the wrong thing, instead of him yielding to corrections and improving on himself, he allowed his emotions to control him to faulty thinking. He was angry at his brother, who did nothing or influence his harvest or sacrifice. He neglected the word of God that said that the sun should not go down while we are still angry. He didn’t get rid of those destructive emotions immediately. As Christians, we should never allow bad emotions to rule and control us. We can be angry, but we should not sin. Cain should have talk things out with his brother so that his brother could guide him in the right way, but bad emotions led to his downfall.
5. CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS DONE: Genesis 4:11-12
After the killing of Abel by Cain, there was a consequence for that action done which was immediate. In Life, some consequences of actions are being delayed and people tend to think there is no consequence for such action but be rest assured that it will eventually happen. As we go about life, we should consider the fact that all our actions have results. Some of the wrongs we do have immediate consequences, but some don’t which will later result in something more severe. Learn to always accommodate the right actions, think well before you engage in an action and follow God’s leading and guidance always.
6. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU CHOICES
God gave Cain the choice to retrace his steps and do the right thing, but he ended up following the wrong choice. God gave him power to master sin and overcome sin, but he continued dwelling in sin and this led to his downfall. This teaches us that God has given us the power to do and choose the right things. God gave us abilities to reason a matter, follow the right counsel and power to resist urge. Although Cain was angry, it didn’t mean he couldn’t resist killing Abel, when as believers should always remember that we have power to do the right thing even amid tempting temptations.
7. GOD OF SECOND CHANCE:
God didn’t want Cain dead, even after the curse, he put a mark on him to avoid anyone killing him. Despite the consequences of him killing his brother by being a fugitive and vagabond, God was still merciful to his soul. Our God is a God of second chance, no matter what you have done, he is always ready to take you back into His flocks. Do not hesitate to run back to God and commit your life totally to Him.
From the story of Cain and Abel, the vital lessons are meant for us to use in our growing in God’s knowledge. The quality of your worship and giving matters a lot to God, don’t take God for granted and allow negative emotions to build in you that will lead to destruction and downfall. In all your sacrifice to God, heaven is the goal and the state of your heart matters if you eventually want to be with God in paradise.