AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER? The story of Cain and Abel is one of the saddest in human history and in Genesis 4 it smacks you in the face with the reality of sin from the earliest stages of humanity. But this event and the interaction Cain had with God also causes us to face our own responsibilities involved with those fellow residents of planet earth. God confronted Cain “face to face” when He asked the question, “Where is your brother Abel?” And Cain’s answer displays a heart of sin and an insolent attitude and action toward His creator; “I don’t know,” he replied. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course God already knew the answer to His own question and it is obvious that Cain was lying to God. Both God and Cain knew that Able was dead and he had been murdered by Cain. You know the rest of the story in Genesis 4. But let’s not rush off because there is a question that Cain poses that all of us must face. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Every person has personal responsibilities for their own life which others cannot or should not be responsible for. Salvation is such a responsibility. Each person must make their own choice to accept or reject Christ as their personal Savior. We cannot make that choice for them but we do have a responsibility before God to share Christ with those around us. And each person is responsible for taking care of themselves in this life to the extent they are able. Laziness by any person cannot and should not impose on the remainder of society our care of them. But in a broader sense we really are our brother’s keeper. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Our world is filled with people who have real needs and through no fault of their own they cannot overcome their circumstances in life. If we, as Christians, and as a society in general, have the resources to help them should we not demonstrate Christ’s command and “Love our neighbor as ourselves?” In this sense are we not our brother’s keeper?
When we find ourselves living in a society where many if not most people have rejected God’s standards for living and have rejected God’s bible as a moral and spiritual guide do we not have an obligation as “our brother’s keeper” to hold forth the light of God’s Word and principles of morality? Should we not be so concerned about the moral fiber of our fellow countrymen that we stand up and give them moral and spiritual input just as we would give them food and water if they needed it? As Christians we are our brother’s keeper in many spheres of life. God has placed us here to love those around us and be “salt” and “light.” Sometimes our care is shown through bread & water, labor & love,
and often a word about the love of Jesus. We humans are all travelers on a road to eternity and to the extent God shows us and allows us we are our brother’s keeper.