Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”-Genesis 4:9 (NASB)
Am I my brother’s keeper?
It is an age-old question. Ever since this early sibling rivalry, the question has loomed among mankind. Some have only asked it. Others have crafted sermons based upon it. Many have built ministries based on it, too. It has at least crossed our minds at one time or another, possibly pricking our hearts in some cases.
We ask it without truly seeking out the revealed answer that occurs in the very same verse where it initially appears. We ask it without recognizing that the question that prompts us asking such a question provides the very rationale that we need to truly understand the Lord’s desire for us.
It is the Lord who asks this of Cain. It is not Adam or Eve seeking to find out what has happened to Abel. It is the Lord who asks about Cain’s brother. The Lord’s question about Abel, Cain’s brother, supersedes and precedes Cain asking if he is his brother’s keeper. The question that comes from the Most High is over greater importance.
Let us seek to uphold our Christian responsibility by answering the Lord’s inquiry about our brother or sister. Let it never be the case that we are resistant or reluctant to help our brother or sister in need when we have the means to help him or her. How pleasing are we to the Lord when we cannot even answer about our care and concern for our own brother or sister? May we never shame the very name of Christ by our negligence for the calling to live up to His name as Christians.