02 Am I my Brother's Keeper

UNIT #: 
Lesson Theme: 
Sin begins in the heart but righteousness begins with Christ

Sinful thoughts leads to destruction; Love enables us to have self-control.

Bible Passage: 

Genesis 4:6-10

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Adam and Eve had 3 sons: Abel, Cain & Seth (Gen 4: 25)

Ephesians 4: 25-32 - Rules for the New Life

1 Samuel 16:7 - Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

In Genesis 4:6–7, God gave Cain a warning that if he did not turn from his jealousy and sinful anger it would bring destruction. God also give a chance for him to behave and do well the next time. However, he didn’t master the sin lurking around him and ignored God’s warning and killed his brother.

Galatians 6:7–8 tells us that we reap what we sow. Here we see how true this is. Cain’s couldn’t control jealousy and anger and was cursed by God. Unrepentant sin brings destruction.

Main Ideas: 

Attitude Overweighs Material Offering

Cain and Abel brought offerings to God as an appreciation of blessings from Him. The offerings of Cain and Abel did not come as the result of a command by God, but were purely an expression of thanksgiving and offering of a gift to God. The difference between the offerings was not what was on the altar, but rather what was in their hearts.

Abel showed his love from the bottom of his heart by choosing the very best of his flock for offering. God was not happy with Cain since there was no expression of faith in his offering. What mattered most here is the sacrifice and submission Abel made as an expression of gratitude. God saw the same thing Jesus saw in the poor widow's offering in Luke 21:4 ("all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

Cain understood that God was not pleased with his offering and was seized by anger and jealousy so that his disposition and everything about him was affected. God warned Cain that sin was at the door and not to let it in, but  rule over it, get away from temptation, repent and turn to God. However, anger and jealousy overruled Cain and gave room for the sinful thoughts that led to a crime.

What could have Cain done differently ?

In Ephesians 4, Paul says, "...lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" ."26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil". "29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear". " 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you."

Do You Repent ?

After the murder, God approached Cain asking him about Abel. This is similar to God's questioning of Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. In both cases God knew what sin had been committed, but He is checking if they feel guilty and choose to repent.

You Still Have A Chance

Regardless of Cain rebellion and punishment for his sin, God was compassionate when he feared of attack from enemies. He put a mark on Cain to protect him from harmful enemies. It is never too late to say sorry, for God’s love can save us from his wrath. Bible has many witnesses for God’s love overcoming his wrath.

Are you your brother’s keeper ?

Who is your brother ? Any person associated with your life or is your brother or a friend.

God created human as a social being and expects us to live in harmony and fellowship.
He doesn’t want people to be selfish, but to take care of each other.
Would you ignore the issues of a person you know and leave him to suffer ?
Or will you help your friend like the Good Samaritan did ?

So, are you your brother’s keeper ?


Ask: What could have Cain done to control his anger?

Group Debate: 

- Are you jealous of your friend who is popular in school ?

- How did you deal with that situation in the past ?

- Will you do something differently, now that you have taken this lesson ?

- How will you change the attitude of a person who wants to harm the popular friend of yours ?

Lesson Review: 

Fill in the blanks:

  1. The names of Adam and Eve’s children were ________,___________ and _________.
  2. Cain felt _________ after God did not accept his gift.
  3. God told Cain that he had to ___________ the earth for the rest of his life.

Multiple Choice:

  1. ____ : What did Cain and Abel do to worship God?

a. They wrote psalms praising God.
b. They offered special gifts to God.
c. They spoke to God face to face.

2.____ : What did Cain do to his brother when he was angry?

a. He killed him in the field.
b. He stole Abel’s sheep and offered them to God.
c. He ran away from home.

True or False:

  1. Cain was sorry for what he did and told God the truth when God asked him where his brother was. _______
  2. God liked Abel’s gift but not Cain’s because Abel gave God his best but Cain did not. _______


  1. Why did God like Abel’s gift but not Cain’s?
  2. What does it mean to give our best?
  3. How did Cain feel after God did not accept his gift?
  4. Describe the warnings God gave to Cain
  5. Describe punishment and the grace received by Cain
  6. How should we deal with our anger?
Values for Life: 

We need to remember that our words can be like fire if left unchecked. The damage they do cannot be reversed, like a fire that burns out of control. But anger does not have to lead to sin. The Bible has given us examples of what to do when we feel angry. It teaches us not to be angry for long (Eph 4:26). That means we should not hold grudges. We should deal with our anger right away by talking it out or by praying to God about it and then letting it go.

Life Response/My Decision: 
  • Do not ignore God’s warnings. Acknowledge your sin and repent (ask for forgiveness)
  • God does not show favoritism; If you do well, you will be accepted
  • Sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it
  • God knows everything, even what is in our hearts. We cannot hide from God nor fool Him.
  • God doesn’t want us to hurt others. If we open our hearts to the Lord, our loving Creator, He will show us right from wrong
Memory Verse: 

Genesis 4:9

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to die for the sins of all people. Teach me to know when a sinful thought begins in me, and then help me to get rid of it before it grows out of control. Help me practice self control and never harm others with my thoughts words and deeds. Make my love for You stronger each day. Amen.

scope and sequence


Missing section "Are you your brother’s keeper ?" in the published version. This section was updated later and needs to be included in the next publishing.