Am I my Brothers Keeper?
I recently came across the story of Cain (spear) and Able (fleeting breath) and it made me think about a few things. We all know the dark and twisted story of Cain murdering his brother able. When the Lord asks, “Where is Able?” Cain’s words are haunting and scary. He says, “Am I my brothers keeper?” God replies, “What have you done? Your brothers blood is crying out to me from the ground.”
Here are the provoking thoughts the text is asking.
A) Who is your brother?
B) Who is it that you are called to care for and look out for, yet have failed to do so?
C) Do you hear Able’s cry for help?
Cain (spear in Hebrew) represents the darkness of humanity; the evil that lurks within. Spear (Cain) eventually produces a people and nation. We live in an age where the spears (or Cains) have done damage and reeked havoc on human beings, killing and maiming others in the name of the god of war (the idol god of power).
We have failed to hear Able’s blood crying out.
The story and characters mentioned are there to paint the larger picture. They serve as prototypes. These characters show us the disunity and chaotic forces at work within human beings; the evil that lurks in our dark and twisted human hearts.
Able’s blood is still crying out; think of the injustices that are taking place all over the world. List the countries where injustice reigns ______________________________ . We have Global Poverty and local poverty, sex trafficking, slave trades, wars, etc.
It’s easy to simply dismiss all these activities around the world as irrelevant and overwhelming and it’s easy to say, “I am too busy” or “it’s not in my own back yard” but you see, that’s the way of Cain. The way of Cain says, “I do not care about my brothers and sisters, I only care about myself.” Our culture promotes independence and self-happiness, even at the cost of others. However, Jesus encourages just the opposite. Jesus' message stands in stark contrast to the way of cain, his message calls for sacrificial love, loving enemies. Jesus demonstrated love when he allowed himself to be nailed to a cross, that is how much Jesus believed in loving neighbors, enemies, brothers and sisters at the expense of giving his own life.
The world has been imitating the way of Cain for far too long. The way of Cain is disunity, carelessness, hatred, Jealously, strife, war, etc. Does this sound familiar?
In contrast, the way of Jesus asks us to love our brothers and sisters, and to look out for our neighbor. His ways seek reconciliation, forgiveness, and loving our enemies at the expense giving our own lives.
I’ll leave you with God’s question, “Where is Able”? - Casey Dayton