Everyone knows the story of Cain and Abel. The second generation of humanity and their epic rivalry that ended in murder is known even among non-believers. However, I want to draw your attention in another direction.
“1 Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” 2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also presented an offering — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.”
Genesis 4:1-5, HCSB
Now most of the time the conversation here turns to the fact that Cain’s offering was not accepted by God though Abel’s was and a discussion of heart condition. This is an important, but not our focus today. We see the births of Cain then Abel in the first two verses. But the very next verse is the story of the sons going to worship without mention of either parent. Yes, one got it right while the other didn’t, but they both knew that worship was important and how to do it.
But how do they know?? Somewhere between verses 2 and 3 Cain and Abel had to have been taught! Think about it. This was before Christian schools, Sunday school or children’s church. So how did they learn?
Here’s another example later in the same book:
“5Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.’ 6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together.
7Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.’
And he replied, ‘Here I am, my son.’
Isaac said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? ‘”
Genesis 22:5-7, HCSB
See it, in verse 7? How could Isaac ask this question if he had no clue what worship was? Though it is an ongoing lesson and there is unfortunately the potential for our children to get it way wrong (Cain), it is incredibly important that we consistently and diligently engage and teach. This includes the meaning behind and importance of our worship of our awesome Creator!!