Our next character study in the ROC is about Cain and Abel. The last study that we did was a couple of weeks ago on Elisha, God, and the Shunammite family. The whole idea behind this year’s study in the ROC is about God connecting with us, then we connect with others through love and service, and finally, we help others connect with God the way we did. This pattern pops up all throughout the Bible. We saw it in the Old Testament with the 10 commandments and in the New Testament with the Greatest Commandment. Both deal with connecting with God, connecting with others, and then connecting them with God.
We are staying in the Old Testament with this lesson, focusing on how God connected with Adam and Eve, blessed them with children to connect with, and then getting connected with the future generations.
I. God connects with Adam and Eve
In Genesis 1 and 2, God creates Adam and Eve to have a personal relationship with Him. He walked with them on a daily basis. They were connected with each other in a personal relationship because of their relationship with God. In Genesis 3, we see that Adam and Eve fall into sin and are separated from God. They are no longer connected with God. They actually run away from Him and try to hide. God comes to them and reconnects with them. As a result of being disconnected with God, their relationship suffered. They began to argue and blame each other. Once they reconnect with God, their relationship improves, although forever marred. After reconnecting with God and each other, God blesses them with children, who are born in sin and disconnected from God. They must learn how to connect with God and with others.
II. Adam and Eve connect with their children
Immediately, Adam and Eve connect with their children (their “neighbor” so to speak) and began to teach them how to connect with God. We see the philosophy behind the 10 commandments and the Greatest Commandment being set here in the very beginning, connect with God, connect with others, and help them connect with God. Adam and Eve’s sons, Cain and Abel, both received the same education from their parents. They learned how to connect with God and how to walk with Him daily. I think that it is interesting to see two siblings with the same education and upbringing turn out so differently.
III. Abel connects with God
Abel connected with God as his parents taught him to do. It seems that he had a good relationship with his parents as a result of being taught and connected with God. As best he could, he tried to connect with his brother Cain and have a good relationship with him. We see that Abel knew what kind of sacrifice to bring to God. They could not come to God any way that they wanted. They had to come to Him according to His terms since they were sinners and He is holy. Abel understood the importance of complete obedience and submission to God’s will and ways. Because of Abel’s relationship with God and obedience, he is mentioned in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. What about Cain?
IV. Cain rejects God
Cain had the same parents, the same upbringing, and the same opportunity to connect with God, yet, he chose to reject God. Cain does not reject God right away. He masks his rebellion while being partially obedient to God. He does offer a sacrifice, but, his sacrifice is what he wants to bring instead of what God required him to bring. He went through the motions of obedience but his heart was not in it. Cain had a problem with anger and it got to the point where his anger controlled him. Once controlled by anger, he began to hate his brother and probably God too because of the way that he acts towards God and ultimately rejects God. God wanted to connect with Cain just as He had done with Abel. Cain ends up murdering his brother Abel and then chooses to run away from God instead of coming to Him and asking for forgiveness and restoration. Cain was never really connected with God and he proved it by his attitude and actions.
What about you, my dear friend, are you connected with God? How is that manifested in your relationships with others? Do you seek to love and serve others so that they can learn how to be connected with God? How do you deal with anger, are you in control of it or does it control you? When you make a mistake, do you try to cover it up and run away from God? When confronted, how do you respond? Do you admit your guilt and ask for forgiveness or do you try to blame others and excuse yourself? As a parent, are you connecting with your children and teaching them how to connect with God and walk with Him? Is it a superficial relationship with God? If so, it will be exposed sooner or later. May the Lord help us connect with Him, connect with others, and teach them to connect with God.