Tag Archives: Blameshift

“Yes, You Are Your Brother’s Keeper”

Daily reading assignment: Genesis 4-7

Today’s Bible reading covers a broad swath of early history from Eve giving birth to the first sons born of Adam’s seed (Cain, Abel and Seth – Genesis 4:1-2, 26), to Noah, his wife, sons and their wives entering the Ark and the start of the universal flood (Genesis 7).

I could spend months writing devotionals on these chapters, but alas, I must limit myself to a brief highlight of one thought I trust will be instructive.  Consider the conversation between God and Cain, Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, after he had slain his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8).

Obedient to God’s model of atonement for sin (the shedding of blood – Hebrews 9:22), Abel brought a sacrificial offering to the LORD (Genesis 4:4); however, Cain’s attempt to offer a bloodless sacrifice was refused by God (Genesis 4:3, 5).  Rejected, Cain burned in anger toward the LORD, his “countenance” betraying his rebellion (Genesis 4:5).

Ever merciful, the LORD questioned Cain, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Genesis 4:6-7).

Rather than repent and do right, Cain’s wrath escalated and he slew his brother (Genesis 4:8).  Ponder the dialogue between the LORD and Cain after he killed his brother.

Genesis 4:9 – And the LORD [Jehovah] said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper [watchman; guard; keeper]?

God’s question presented Cain an opportunity to confess his egregious sin; however, Cain was insolent and responded with defiance.  What an astonishing insight we are given into not only the effect of sin, but also the callous heart of a sinner.  Cain already evidenced the depth of wickedness seeded in a sinner’s nature.

Why did Cain refuse to humble himself and repent of his sin?

The apostle John answers that question writing, [Cain’s] works were evil, and his brother’s righteous”(1 John 3:12).

Cain murdered Abel because he hated his brother’s righteousness.  When confronted, he evaded responsibility for his sin and refused to repent (Genesis 4:9-12).  His focus was not on the evil he had done, but on the punishment and consequences of his sin (Genesis 4:13-16).

Cain’s intent was to shirk accountability for his sin; however, are we any different?

“To grieve over sin is one thing; to repent is another.” – Anonymous

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith