“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

My Brother’s Keeper

(Please read Genesis 4:9)

April 12

When he posed his question to God, Cain was really suggesting that he was not his brother’s keeper. He had already lied to God, so his question was a feeble effort to avoid responsibility for the death of Abel, his brother.

Envy kept Cain from being his brother’s keeper. He killed Abel “because his works were evil and Abel’s were righteous” (1 John 3:11-12, NASB). The same spirit later raised murderous hands against Jesus (Matthew 27:18).

Cain was also selfish and self-centered, willing even to kill to have things his way, loving himself too much to be his brother’s keeper.

But the whole tenor of the new life in Christ is that each of us should be “his brother’s keeper.” (The masculine terms here of course include all God’s people.) Christians are required to love our neighbors as ourselves, to bear one another’s burdens, to do good to all people, to give help to the needy, to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, and to treat others as we want to be treated.

Surely these activities make us “keepers” of one another. But if there is a burden in this relationship, it is a light and healthy one. Let’s rejoice that the Lord has entrusted such a sweet responsibility to each of his children, and show by our lives that we accept it happily.

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