The story of Cain and Abel is one of the saddest in the Bible, but it is also a story full of God’s mercy. Two brothers offer sacrifices to God. Abel gives his best and pleased God. Cain does not. When he knows God is not pleased, he gets angry. Genesis 4:6-7 says, “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” God didn’t send fiery judgment or make it impossible to serve Him. He patiently showed Cain what he had done wrong and how to do right.
Sadly, Cain chose instead to murder his brother. When God confronted him over this evil act, Cain begged for mercy, and God graciously promised to protect Cain from those who would try to kill him.
The story reminds us to always give our best to God, and that when we fail (and we all do) to try again. I once heard a speaker point out that Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid” (NIV) not “whoever needs correction is stupid.” Encourage your kids to keep trying and to know that God is with them every step of the way.