Cain spoke to Abel his brother. 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 Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:8-10
Cain kills his brother. Only one generation from the first man, sin is taking its toll, stirring up jealousy, pride, anger, and even murder.
God gives Cain the opportunity to confess, but instead, Cain replies, “Am I my broker’s keeper?” Instead of being his brother’s keeper, he became his brother’s murderer.
God confronts Cain saying, “the voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” Blood represents life. And blood also represents death. Blood is a sacrifice. On this day, Abel’s blood was crying out sin and judgment. Soon the blood of Jesus would cry out redemption and reconciliation. But not yet. Many sacrifices will be established and carried out leading up to Jesus’s arrival as the final and perfect sacrifice.
Am I my brother’s keeper? How we see the answer to this question changes everything. God wants His church to be a unified body. He commands us to love Him and love each other. He has given us all we need to collectively be our brothers’ keeper, but instead, we leave it government, or others, or any institution willing to step in, regardless of motives. Our brothers and sisters are hurting, barely surviving, suffering, and lonely.
What if Jesus asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and refused the cross?
God, help us always be open to your truth and your voice when faced with the opportunity to be our brother’s keeper.
Questions: How would you respond to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” How does this look in your life?