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Cain was one of Adam and Eve’s sons. Abel was his brother. While Abel was taking care of flocks, Cain was a farmer. Cain would dig in the dirt and plant seeds and water plants to make the food grow big and tall — food like corn and beans and apples and carrots.
One day Cain decided he should bring an offering to God. “Hmm,” Cain thought, “What can I give to God? I know! I have lots of extra food around. I’ll give God some of this food I grew.” But God was not happy with Cain’s offering.
Do you want to know why? Well, it doesn’t really matter why. God is GOD. And God had a very specific idea about what He wanted as an offering, but Cain evidently never even asked God what He wanted.
Think about this… What if you wanted to give your mom a really special gift. Would you just pick up some toy you had laying around that you didn’t want anymore? No. If you wanted it to be a really special gift, you would find out what she would like. When you love someone, you pay attention to what they like, and if you don’t know what they like, you ask them!
But Cain just gave God some of the food he had laying around. Stuff that was easy for him to give and stuff that made sense to Cain. But, God’s alive. So, we should ask Him what He likes and let HIM choose the gifts, not just give whatever is convenient to us. But Cain did not love God, so he didn’t care to find out what type of gift God would like.
But here is where things got even worse. When Cain saw that God was happy with his brother Abel’s gift, but not happy with his gift, Cain got very jealous and angry.
His insides started feeling all knotted up. Then his face got all red and hot. His eyebrows scrunched and his mouth turned downwards.
God knew this farmer boy was starting to plant some really bad seeds — not in the dirt, but in his heart!
So, God tried to warn Cain, “Cain, why are you angry? Why is your face turned down like that? If you do what is right, you know I will accept you! But if you do not do what is right, sin is sitting right outside your door ready to pounce on you like a wild animal. These bad thoughts and feelings want to take control of you, but you must be the boss of them.”
But, Cain didn’t listen. God was trying to help him change his attitude, but Cain ignored God’s helping words.
A sad, sad thing happened next… Cain asked Abel to go into a field, and then he did a terrible, evil thing. He murdered Abel. (This means he killed him because he was angry and jealous.)
Then God came along and said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?”
“I don’t know!” Cain answered. “Is it my job to take care of my brother?”
Uh-oh!! WRONG answer!!! Cain was planting even MORE evil seeds in his heart. He had lied to God because he DID know what had happened to Abel. Plus it was Cain’s job to love and take care of his brother. But, Cain killed Abel out of his hurt feelings that he let turn into meanness.
So God said to Cain, “What have you done? Tell the truth. I know you murdered Abel, and you will be punished. The dirt you touch will be cursed. You will still work, work, work the dirt, but you will not be able to grow good food anymore. Also, you will wander around and never find a home.”
Then Cain said to the Lord, “This punishment is too much! You won’t let me be a farmer and now I must hide from You. I will have no home, and anyone who meets me will kill me.”
Did you notice anything about Cain’s response? He did a terrible thing and he is not accepting his punishment. He is even whining and exaggerating what God said. God didn’t say he wouldn’t be a farmer. And God didn’t say the he had to hide from Him. Cain was overreacting and accusing. He was not cut to the heart. He didn’t even say “sorry” for the very bad thing he had done to his brother. He only felt sorry for himself because he was being punished.
What sadness on top of sadness… Cain the farmer knew how to grow good food by planting good seeds in the ground, but he didn’t plant GOOD seeds in his heart.
It was a sad day for God…
But we can choose to learn a lesson from Cain so that we don’t make God sad. Love your brothers and sisters. Don’t be jealous or mean or have hurt feelings. And, if you start to feel those things and your face starts to get hot and you mouth starts to turn downwards, Stop! Listen, Listen, Listen to the help God gives you so that you can change your attitude to being a sweet heart that wants to take care of your brother or your sister.