Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cain and Abel Sunday School Lesson for Kids

Use this Cain and Abel Sunday School lesson for kids to teach kids the story of Cain and Abel.

Needed: A twenty-dollar bill (or something comparable)
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students to give their answers to the questions before you clarify the teaching.)

Pull out a twenty-dollar bill and hand it to one of your students. Be as dramatic with this as possible. Watch everyone react for a moment and refuse to give anyone else any money. Then ask the student to return your money and ask the class, How did it make you feel when I gave one student that money, but didn’t give you any?

Who knows what the word “jealousy” means? It means wanting something that someone else has.

You probably all wanted that twenty-dollar bill, right?

But we can be jealous for lots of things. Have you ever wanted a toy or a cool-looking shirt or something that someone else had? Or maybe your brother or sister got a treat or something that you didn’t and you wished that thing was yours. Maybe someone got a good grade on their test in school and you were mad at them because you didn’t get a good grade. Maybe you saw someone with a really nice house and you wished it was your house. Or you saw a girl who you thought was really pretty and you wished you were that pretty. Those are all examples of wanting what someone else has. That’s what it means to be jealous.

In our story today, an older brother is jealous of a younger brother.

(Read the summary of Genesis 4:1-18 (based on the NIV here) below, asking questions as you go.)

After God sent Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, Eve gave birth to two boys. The older one was named Cain and the younger one was named Abel. As Cain grew up, he became a farmer. Abel grew up and became a shepherd, taking care of his sheep and lambs.

Cain would often bring some of the fruit or vegetables that he was growing on his farm and give it to God as an offering. But when Cain gave his offering, God was not happy with it. God did not like Cain’s offering.

Why do you think God didn’t like what Cain brought Him?

God did like Abel’s offering, though, because Abel would bring God the best new lambs from his flock and give them to God. So God was very pleased with Abel’s offering.

Why did God like Abel’s offering of the lamb, but didn’t like Cain’s offering of the fruits and vegetables? It’s because Cain only brought God some of what he was growing on his farm. Abel brought God the best of his animals. Maybe Cain wasn’t giving God the best of his fruits and vegetables. Maybe he was only giving God the rotten ones. Maybe Cain didn’t really want to give God any of his things and Abel did want to. Either way, Abel was giving God his best and Cain was not giving God his best. God always deserves the best from us.

So Cain was angry and jealous that God accepted Abel’s offering but didn’t accept his. And God said to Cain, “Why are you angry? If you do what is right, I will accept you.”

But Cain wouldn’t listen to God. He didn’t want to do what was right. Instead, he went to his brother Abel and said, “C’mon, Abel. Let’s go take a walk in my farm field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then God said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"

Do you think God really didn’t know where Abel was? No. God knows everything. He knew exactly what Cain had done.

So why do you think God asked Cain where Abel was if He already what had happened? God was giving Cain the chance to confess and say he was sorry for what he had done. God knows everything we do, but He wants us to confess it to Him and say we’re sorry.

But Cain replied, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

Then God said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

What is God making Cain’s punishment to be? He is making Cain leave the place where he lives and go live somewhere else away from his family, away from Adam and Eve. And God is making it so that Cain can’t be a farmer anymore. God says that the ground won’t grow anymore food for Cain. He’ll have to go find it instead of growing it.

Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."

What is Cain afraid of? Someone killing him.

Why would someone want to kill Cain? Because he killed Abel. Maybe someone wants to punish Cain for what he did.

But God said to Cain, "Not so. If anyone kills you, Cain, I will punish that person seven times as bad as I’m punishing you." Then God put a mark on Cain (like a tattoo maybe), warning anyone who found him not to kill him.

So Cain moved away from his home and from Adam and Eve and lived with his wife in the land of Nod. He built a city there and named it Enoch, after the name of his first son.

Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.
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