“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
These were the infamous words Cain spoke to God when lying about knowing the whereabouts of his brother, Abel.
“Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”
These were the words of the Lord when outing Cain in his lies.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” These five words sting like a thousand hornets. While Cain was being a defensive and juvenile in response to God’s question, he was unknowingly setting the stage for what started in the garden with the serpent – continuing with the disobedience and general mutiny of man towards our Maker and each other.
In a sense, every man is his brother’s keeper. Cain took the low road with a barefaced disregard for his brother when he took him to the fields and killed him. His jealousy turned to hate and his hate to rage and that rage engulfed him, driving him to commit the first murder the world had known. Cain could not contain his contempt and hatred for his brother.
Is this not unlike what is still going on in the world today? So much hate… Cain gave way to his emotions – just like people still do today. Emotions are controllable. Many people don’t know this because they don’t practice it. Ignorance and hatred are controllable too. There’s also many not practicing controlling these as well.
Those who practice hate don’t know God’s love. This unrelenting love overwhelms hate. There’s simply no room for it in your heart if you know God’s love. If you don’t believe me, just read 1 John 3:11-24 and 4:7-21. It’s all about loving one another – something this world could use some more of.
This past week in the news saw some tragic, despicable, and down-right nasty examples of the evil nature that consumes humans. From the hate-violence in Charlottesville to White House staff turnover to idiotic, nonleader-like tweets and insensitive statements from the POTUS to multiple police officer shootings to the Barcelona attack in one of many disturbing incidences of vehicles being used as weapons of terror when unsuspecting crowds are gathered to the stabbings in Finland to threats against Guam, of all places, by North Korea. It just goes on and on.
Here’s what I know – the blood of those slain still cry out! It did when Cain’s blood stained the ground and it does today when the cruel actions of hatemongers lead to bloodshed. People are hurting. People are fearful. And people can be dangerous when shrouded in a veil of darkness and insecurity (or a pointed hood). As individuals, we need to rise up above the hatred and pain and take a stand. You want change? Put prayer back in school. Warm up a pew at church. Dust off that Bible on the shelf. Seek Christ through community with others. Put forth an effort.
Some harsh yet true words from John:
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers do not have eternal life within them.
– 1 John 3:14-15
For those who choose to be haters, it looks pretty glum. But… that’s why the Good News is called good news! The haters can still change their ways, their thoughts, and their hearts. God forgives and He delivers. Just like He did by delivering His Son to us, for us.
The blood of Jesus saved us. Though the blood of those slain still cry out. They cry out for social injustice. We are all our brother’s and sister’s keeper. For the sake of righteousness and justice, can’t we all practice the love that passes us from death to life?