Devotional: ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’


Genesis 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? KJV

Though Cain pretended outwardly to be religious, inwardly he was a rebel. Cain’s violence against his brother was due to his hatred of God. We read in the book of 1 John:

1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain who belonged to the Evil One and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because the things Cain did were evil, and the things his brother did were good. NCV

Abel’s righteousness exposed Cain’s sinfulness and when God confronted him with it, Cain vented his anger through murder.

As I write this I can’t help but think of the number of people I have known down through the years who act in a similar kind of way. No, none of them have killed someone, yet many of them seem to be angry. This is especially true whenever someone tries to talk with them about the Lord. Jesus told Nicodemus – “All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do.” (Jn 3:20 NCV)

What could have been done to change Cain? For one thing, his problem didn’t begin once he was full-grown. No doubt all through life there were warning signs that indicated where Cain was headed, yet like so many parents, Adam and Eve probably chose to ignore the warning signs in order to avoid a confrontation. But problems of the heart won’t fix themselves. Even though parents love their children, they can’t let their love cause them to ignore the truth. We read in Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Paul says in Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit ; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

No one is born naturally good. No one, not even our children. Therefore every parent must make it their top priority to see that their child has a genuine conversion experience. Both of our daughters made professions of faith when they were very young, yet Tammy and I didn’t rely on one moment in childhood to be our  total evidence that what happened with our children was real. The evidence of true salvation is spiritual fruit.

Parents, grandparents – do you see the evidence of a true salvation experience in the life of your child? That’s a hard question, but one that needs to be asked. If not, I beg of you to do whatever it takes to help your child come to know the Lord. It may mean some major changes in your lifestyle. It may mean some inconveniences. It may mean some sleepless nights in prayer. It may you first examining your own walk with the Lord. Yet no price is too high to pay in order to see your child saved.

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