“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain used this phrase, not God, and in doing so described a duty we have as a child of God. As the Lord takes care of us we are to take care of ourselves—yes—but we are to watch out for each other as well. Others need our help; we need the help others can give.
Genesis 4:9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Notice there are three questions in these verses. I want us to look at them today and next week.
Our brothers and sisters in the Lord are some of our greatest blessings. It’s a part of the blessing of salvation. When I got saved I experienced God in a deep personal sense. I also experienced God through the love of other Christians. I resented “those people” and was afraid of “them.” These very people became a blessing. They became my family, a unique relationship in the Lord. God is our Father and we are brothers and sisters. Here we learn a lesson about our duty.
Cain meant the statement as an insult, but we learn a good lesson. When we stand before the Lord, we’ll stand for our own personal relationship with God, but we’ll also stand before him if we’ve done right by each other. Jesus told the people I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. In turn they said Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Jesus told them inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Regardless of how we talk about our love for God, our love for each other will speak far more. Our caring for and helping each other will speak far more than what we say. In this tragedy we see that how we feel toward our brothers and sisters determines what kind of Christian we are. The Bible tells us if we don’t love our brother/sister, the Truth is not in us.
God was merciful, but Cain turned around and murdered his brother Abel. The first question asked by God is in verse 9. Where is Abel thy brother? God didn’t have to ask. He knew the answer. He knew where Abel was. What does this question reveal? God desires truth. Cain was not at the point he needed to be. God wants us to question ourselves. Stop and think about things. Ask “where am I?” Where are we in relationships with others? At this point in time, there were only four people—daddy Adam, mother Eve and 2 brothers, Cain and Abel. When God said where is Abel thy brother what does that say? They only had each other. He didn’t have to look very far. Every one of us is indispensable to each other. I need every one of you. I hope you feel the same about me. Cain had no other brother. Imagine what a lonely world this would be if there were no other Christians. Guess what. Even though at times we may feel that way, we are not the only Christians. If we’re born again we are God’s people. We are in turn brothers and sisters who need what each other have. You all know how to reach me by phone. We’re all a phone call away. We should be only a heartbeat away. Can we do that? Yes! The blood of one person died for all. Jesus would have died for only one of us. We know where God is. He knows where we are. We need to know and care for each other as well.
Think about Cain’s answer and why he would talk back to God in such a way. Let God speak to your heart and see where you are in relation to your brothers and sisters. That’s how we know where we stand in the eyes of God.