Bible Character Study: ABEL – “Acceptable to God” Lesson 1
I know you’ve probably read the tragic story of Abel and Cain about 1,000 times – the very first two brothers in the world, one presents an acceptable offering to God, the other one kills his brother out of jealousy, and you know the rest…..right? While this story has many important life lessons to learn from, we will mostly focus our study on the life of Abel. Therefore, we will dive deeply into scripture to study who he was, where he came from, and what he did. So, if you’re ready to learn why Abel was considered a character “acceptable” to God, even though he played a small role in the Bible, keep reading!
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LESSON 1: OVERVIEW
“ACCEPTABLE TO GOD”
The name Abel means “breath”
Breath : /breTH (n) – the power of breathing; life.
- Father: Adam
- Mother: Eve
- Siblings : Cain (older brother), Seth (younger brother), and the other children of Adam and Eve who are not named in the Bible.
Abel is the first person in the world who:
- Experienced death
- Was murdered by his own sibling
- Became a martyr in the Bible
- Died without leaving any descendants
- Became a shepherd
While he was mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, he was mentioned very briefly. Here are all of the places he is mentioned in the Bible:
- Genesis 4: 1-26 <- The Story of Abel
- Hebrews 11: 4 “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”
- 1 John 3: 12 “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s (ABEL) were righteous.”
- Hebrews 12: 24 “to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled bloodthat speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
- Matthew 23: 35 “And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
- Luke 11:51 “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.”
Abel was a shepherd. As we know, the role of a shepherd is to protect and guide their flock of sheep. Therefore, we can conclude that he was someone capable of leading, protecting and guiding. Similarly, there were many other important biblical characters shepherds, too. Here are some significant shepherds in the Bible: