From Names on a Page to Real Life People

The people in the Bible are not just characters in a story. They are examples, for good or bad, of how to live in response to God. From their trials and triumphs, we are able to better understand how to live in relationship with God and each other.

One of the most beloved features in the best-selling Life Application Study Bible are the personality profiles. These profiles help take the people in the Bible from just being a name on a page to a someone we should know.

Take a look at the personality profile on Abel. Though his story is short, he teaches us a lot about obedience.

Genesis 4:1-8

Abel was the second child born into the world, but the first one to obey God. All we know about this man is that his parents were Adam and Eve, he was a shepherd, he presented pleasing offerings to God, and his short life was ended at the hands of his jealous older brother, Cain.

The Bible doesn’t tell us why God liked Abel’s gift and disliked Cain’s, but both Cain and Abel knew what God expected. Only Abel obeyed. Throughout history, Abel is remembered for his obedience and faith (Hebrews 11:4), and he is called “righteous” (Matthew 23:35). The Bible is filled with God’s general guidelines and expectations for our lives. It is also filled with more specific directions. Like Abel, we must obey regardless of the cost and trust God to make things right.

Strengths and accomplishments

● First member of the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11

● First shepherd

● First martyr for truth (Matthew 23:35)

Lessons from his life

● God hears those who come to him

● God recognizes the innocent person and sooner or later punishes the guilty

Vital statistics

● Where: Just outside of Eden

● Occupation: Shepherd

● Relatives: Parents: Adam and Eve. Brother: Cain.

Key verse “It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith” (Hebrews 11:4).