The Story of Cain and Abel

How terrible is sin? Listen to the story of these two brothers, Cain and Abel.

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Memory Verse

But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion.

Genesis 4:7
Story Characters

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Narrator: After Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, their life required hard work—just as God told them it would. They still reflected God's image, but things would never be the same because of the sinful choices they made. Eventually, Adam and Eve had two sons. The older son was named Cain; the younger son was named Abel. In Genesis chapter four, the story of these brothers shows just how terrible the effects of sin can be.

Cain: It's harvest time—time to bring God an offering from what I've grown. I've got some of the good crop … and there are some pieces that are bruised. I'm sure God won't mind if I keep some of the best for me.

Abel: God, here is my offering. I'm bringing the first-born animals, and the best part of the meat. I hope that You'll accept this offering. It's the best that I can give.

Narrator: The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering, but not with Cain and his offering. This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings. So God asked Cain,

God: Why do you have such an angry look on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don't let it!

Narrator: God was telling Cain that He could see the sin in Cain's heart. Cain needed to turn away from his anger and do what was right. Instead, Cain made a terrible choice.

Cain: Abel, let's go out into the fields. I want to show you my crop.

Abel: Of course, Cain. You must be very proud.

Narrator: While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel, and he killed him. Afterwards the LORD asked Cain.

God: Where is your brother? Where is Abel?

Cain:How should I know? Am I supposed to look after my brother?

God: Why have you done this terrible thing? You killed your own brother, and his blood flowed onto the ground. Now his blood is calling out for me to punish you. And so, I'll put you under a curse. Because you killed Abel, you will never be able to farm the land again. If you try to farm the land, it won't produce anything for you. From now on, you'll be without a home, and you'll spend the rest of your life wandering from place to place.

Cain: This punishment is too hard! You're making me leave my home and live far from you. I will have to wander about without a home, and just anyone could kill me.

God: No! Anyone who kills you will be punished seven times worse than I am punishing you.

Narrator: So the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn everyone not to kill him. But Cain had to go far from the Lord and live in the Land of Wandering.

Cain was jealous of his brother, and allowed that jealousy to take over his heart. The family that God had created in the Garden, which should have been full of joy and love, had become filled with anger and murder. Unrepentant, Cain turned his back on his family and his God, but God didn't turn His back on Cain. God never turns away from His people, even when they turn away from him. He always loves us, no matter what we do.

If you'd like to read more stories about God's people and God's promises, read the Old Testament book of Genesis. It's the first book in your Bible.

Bible Source: Contemporary English Version (CEV), Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society


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