Date: Sunday 28 February 2021
Title: Brother’s Keeper
By Deacon Abraham Verghese
Genesis 4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” ( for context read Genesis 4 : 3 – 8 )
James 5 : 19 & 20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Abel and Cain were Adam and Eve’s first children . Cain became very angry with Abel after the sacrifice of Abel was accepted. The writer to the Hebrews explained why the offering of Abel was accepted and the offering of Cain was rejected: By faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (Hebrews 11:4). We don’t precisely know how Cain and Abel knew their sacrifices were accepted or not accepted. Cain’s anger was undoubtedly rooted in pride. He could not bear it that his brother was accepted before God and he was not. They shared the same paternal and maternal genes.
When God addressed Cain about Abel, He wanted Cain to realise that Abel was not simply another human being, but his very own brother. Each one of us is a child of God. Brothers and sisters by the first Adam and the second Adam (Christ).
Love for God and neighbour summarise the commandments of God. Unless we can see others as our neighbours we shall follow in the path of Cain. Indifference and carelessness will take the place of love.
Where is your brother?
Have we been so focused on self that we lost sight of the need and suffering of our brothers. Have we become so selfish that our brother is not important to us anymore.
Don’t know ?
Cain attempted to use ignorance as an excuse. He blatantly lied to God about his knowledge of his brother’s whereabouts.
The same question directed to us might result in a “do not know” answer . We do not take the time to know about our brothers and neighbours. And should they disappear, like Abel, we sometimes do not know why. Maybe the passing of time has created a disconnect between us and our brothers. Maybe the busyness of life made it difficult for us to remain updated of their whereabouts. Or maybe we simply are comfortable with not knowing.
If we were in the same CG , have we drifted apart due to one us is no longer attending the CG? Is a brother caught in a sin that is moving him away from the rest and more importantly from God?
We are our brother’s keeper
A brother’s keeper is someone who watches over his brother. The brother’s keeper is a guardian, not a ty-rant, not a parent. The brother’s keeper wants the best for the little brother. The brother’s keeper will even go as far as to take responsibility for the brother whom he keeps. The brother’s keeper can relate to the cares, the anxieties, the joy, the achievement of the little brother because a brother is born to help in the time of adversity.
Should we not reach out to the brother who is drifting away or has already drifted away ? Should we not find out what is causing the barrier ? After all, as set out in James 5 : 19 and 20, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
We should watch out for one another. We are to inspire courage and to banish fear. We are to provoke each other to love and good works, to uplift and to support. This calling is extended to each of us. We should be our brother’s keeper as we move forward in this life.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6 : 1 , 2
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of our-selves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. — Hebrews 10:24, 25
雅各书5: 19 我的弟兄姊妹，如果有人领一个偏离真道的人归回正路， 20 他该知道：使一个迷途中的罪人归回正路就是救一个灵魂脱离死亡，并且会遮盖许多罪。