This adventure is pretty intense! This story describes the very first murder that ever happened on Earth. Get your detective kit out, we're going to look for clues along the way about why this murder happened.
Cain and Abel
After Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden they went out into the world to live and to work. For a time they were all alone, but after a while God gave them a little child of their own, the first baby that ever came into the world. Eve named him Cain; and after a time another baby came, whom she named Abel.
When the two boys grew up, they worked, as their father worked before them.
Cain, the older brother, chose to work in the fields, and to raise grain and fruits. Abel, the younger brother, had a flock of sheep and became a shepherd.
While Adam and Eve were living in the Garden of Eden, they could talk with God and hear God's voice speaking to them. But after they were banished form the garden, they could no longer talk with God freely, as before. So when they came to God, they built an altar of stones heaped up, and upon it, they laid something as a gift to God, and burned it, to show that it was not their own, but was given to God, whom they could not see. Then before the altar they made their prayer to God, and asked God to forgive their sins, and prayed God would bless them.
Each of these brothers, Cain and Abel, offered upon the altar to God his own gift. Cain brought the fruits and the grain which he had grown; and Abel brought a sheep from his flock, and killed it and burned it upon the altar. For some reason God was pleased with Abel and his offering, but was not pleased with Cain and his offering. Perhaps God wanted Cain to offer something that had life, as Abel offered. Or perhaps Cain's heart was not right when he came before God.
God showed that He was not pleased with Cain. Instead of being sorry for his sin, and asking God to forgive him, Cain was very angry with God, and also toward his brother Abel. When they were out in the field together Cain struck his brother Abel and killed him. So the first baby in the world grew up to be the murderer of his own brother.
And the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?"
And Cain answered, "How should I know; am I my brother's keeper?"
Then the Lord said to Cain, "What is this that you have done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground. As long as you live, you shall be under God's curse for the murder of your brother. You shall wander over the earth, and shall never find a home, because you have done this wicked deed."
And Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Thou has driven me out from among men; and thou hast hid thy face from me. If any man finds me he will kill me, because I shall be alone, and no one will be my friend."
And God said to Cain, "If any one harms Cain, he shall be punished for it." And the Lord God placed a mark on Cain, so that whoever met him should know him and should know also that God had forbidden any man to harm him.
Click the arrow to listen to What Did You Learn from Cain and Abel.
What clues did you find? What was the motive of this murder?
You're right! The motive was jealousy! Cain was jealous that God accepted his brother Abel's offering and not his own!
We don't know why God didn't accept Cain's offering, but we know he must have had a good reason.
God knew Abel was already dead when he asked Cain where his brother was, but God loved Cain and wanted him to admit what he had done.
But Cain only responded with more anger, lies and even back talk! And then he whined that his punishment was too great, that he couldn't bear it!
Even then, God protected him.
Cain and Abel: What Would You Do?
Click the arrow to listen to Cain and Abel: What Would You Do?
Cain sounds like a bad dude! But if we're honest we're not all that different from him! We may not have murdered anyone but sometimes we act out in terrible ways when we're jealous.
What happens when you're caught doing something wrong like Cain was? Do you tell lies, respond with more anger or back talk? Or do you admit you were wrong and ask for forgiveness?
You know, even when we are forgiven, many times we still have to face the consequences of our actions. We should accept them and be thankful we were forgiven and not whine that our punishment is too great like Cain did. Really, it's always better to deal with the consequences than live your life with lies, anger and resentment.