Are You Your Brother’s Keeper?
Harvest of Asher
The Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” And Cain said, “I don't know, am I my brother's keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) From Cain’s answer, we see that he is trying to hide what he has done – having killed his brother, having committed the first murder against humanity.
Since then there have been countless murders in our world. All humankind is born with a sinful nature. When we function in our sinful nature, we harm ourselves and others.
After the deed, our next instinct is to deny guilt, deny our part and justify our actions. Only when our guilt is exposed through our conscience can we begin to change. Sometimes this nature is such a strong part of our personality that it enables us to manipulate and lead others into going along with us. Throughout history, there have been groups that deliberately protect their selfish agendas. They justify their decisions to harm and even kill those of other groups. Each group has its own agenda and each is right in its own eyes – superior.
A problem arises when groups turn against each other in warfare. In war, there is no winner. Even though Abel didn’t raise his hand against his brother, Cain was intimidated, jealous and threatened by his brother Abel. Ultimately, they both lost. The people of Israel originated from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, from his twelve sons and their twelve tribes. Later the nation was split by warfare between Judah and Northern Israel. The reason was selfishness and greed.
When we accept Yeshua into our heart, the heart of division within us is replaced by His heart. He forms a new life in us where love and grace overcomes all.
Self-Superiority of Knowledge Brings Division
“We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:1-2). Intellectual pride of knowledge and self- superiority of opinion, bring division.
In modern day Israel we still have “Pharisees” who are trying to implement principles taken from the Torah, Mishna and Talmud in laws and government policies. In their minds, they are leading the present government in the direction of the Bible. Yeshua stood against many Pharisaical/rabbinical attitudes and still today rabbis with the same spirit are controlling the government, trying to form a “religious nation.” This approach exacerbates tribalism in its negative sense, bringing with it the specter of civil war, brother against brother. No one wins, in the end we all lose. Back to Cain’s question, “Am I my brother's keeper?"
That’s why Israel and the world need Messiah now. He is the only one who can change the heart of Cain within all of us, into His heart. He can heal our innate drive toward strife and division, into one of selfless caring.