And Cain called out, am I my brothers keeper?
Excluding the betrayal of man to God, this is the first recorded act of betrayal between man to man. Jealously leads to combustible anger and in-extinguished anger via forgiveness leads to sin. Unrestrained sin conceives death and here we see Cain’s brother Abel murdered.
Warm blood stains the earth crimson red and cries out to God from the field. God who hears the saddened cry asks Cain, where is your brother?
And Cain responds, Am I my brother’s keeper?
(Photo Credit: Nativity Presby Church)
I couldn’t imagine being slain by either of my brothers Antonio or Qaivis and when my Father questioned my whereabouts, my brothers non-remorsefully answer, am I her keeper? If you personally translate this tragedy it becomes ultra relevant.
Ordinarily I aim to get the daily word out by 11 AM but I meditated on this word all day and to truly deliver I needed to explore the definition of keep.
Keep is defined as: to fulfill, to preserve, to tend, to support, to maintain, to detain, to reserve, and or to save.
When Gods promises to never leave us or forsake us he is promising to keep us.
By his word he has fulfilled us,
by his mercy he has preserved us,
by his sufficient grace he has maintained us,
by his superior wisdom he has detained us,
by his permitting of persecution he reserves us,
and by his glorious and mighty work at Calvary he has saved us.
God is our keeper.
Greater love has no one than this than to lay down ones life for his friends. – John 15:13 No greater love – when the disciples ask which of the commandments is the greatest? Jesus answers love your brother.
From the beginning we are called to keep one another. When Adam looked around and examined his loneliness, God said this is not good because we are inherently created to keep one another likewise in Abel’s death the fields yet cried out because his spirit, his spirit was crying to be kept.
After Jesus explains what the greatest love is – one that lay downs one life for his friends in John 15:13 he continues in John 15:15 explaining No longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my father I have made known to you.
Hallelujah! you could eat off that level of revelation for days.
Once a gentile, made believer by faith, made servant by desire, made friend by personal promotion. There is no greater promotion than to be called a friend of God. Friends protect one another, friends love one another, friends help one another, friends are loyal to one another. God is your friend but are you his friend? Do you check people when people curse God’s name in your presence? People should respect the God that lives in you so much that they apologize when they sin in your presence.
You wouldn’t let anyone down talk your homie in your presence but you’d let a man curse God and thus curse themselves in your presence. Can God depend you to help him carry out his purpose?
Are God and you really friends?
Or are you like the people in 1 Kings 18:21 – answering not a word?
Are you your brother’s keeper?
Can your friends call on you to preserve their faith when stumbling or are you a stumbling block quick to anger and slow to forgive? Are you salt of the Earth or are you Lot’s wife transformed into a pillar of salt?
Does your life and your example guide people to Heaven or does your life and your example guide people to hell? ARE YOU YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER OR NOT?
There are no mistakes in God. Everyone that we interact with is ordained by God for the edification of our spirit and the finishing of our work.
Jonah pulled a Cain move when he ran off to Tarshish. He couldn’t stand the people of Nineveh but he was still commanded to keep them. We aren’t commanded to like our brother, we are commanded to love our brother.
Have you kept your enemy in prayer today?
Cain kills his brother because he is jealous of the relationship that Abel shared with God. Rather than seeking and strengthening his relationship with God or seeking the counsel of his brother to help him grow favor in God, he kills his brother because he despised the sight of his God given success. Sounds very satan-ish right? Has anyone ever tried to kill your spirit because they were jealous of the spirit that lived in you? Don’t keep them away, Keep them anyway. If God asks you on Judgment Day, be prepared to answer, yes I was my brother’s keeper?
When God uses Saul to carry out the New Testament he is showcasing unconditional love and forgiveness. When Joseph keeps his brothers during the famine though they sold him into slavery, he is showing us yet again what it means to keep your brother, for God too would ultimately choose to keep us even when we didn’t choose to initially keep him.
We are called to love and to keep each other. During the final Passover Jesus tells Peter, Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
Translation: Jesus tells Peter, listen, I already know you gonna do me dirty and I already forgive you. Moreover, I have prayed for you aka I have blessed you. When you done being dirty and come back, strengthen your brothers, keep your brothers. Be your brothers keepers. Love your brothers anyway as I have loved you. No greater love than he who lays his life down for his friends, lay down your life of sin for your friends and help lead them to Christ via the example as I lay down my life for you. Feed the homeless as I have fed the 5,000, wash the feet of others as I have washed yours. Keep each other as I have kept you.
To spare the faint I will stop here. Forgiveness is hard. Humility is harder. How do we learn to turn the other cheek and repair those that broke us? By first keeping the word. Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray but now have I kept your word, KJV. The NKJV updates it to read … now I keep your word (present v. past tense).
When we keep the word, meditating day and night to prosper success, Commit thoughts and establish plans, we keep God. When we keep God we are equipped with the power to keep our brother. As our love for God grows our love for our brothers correspondingly grows.
Are you your brother’s keeper?
Keep – keep verb \ ˈkēp \ kept\ ˈkept \; keeping Definition of keep (Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb 1 a : to retain in one’s possession or power kept the money we found b : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing kept the news back c : to have in control keep your temper
2 : to take notice of by appropriate conduct : FULFILL: such as a : to be faithful to keep a promise b : to act fittingly in relation to keep the Sabbath c : to conform to in habits or conduct keep late hours d : to stay in accord with (a beat) keep time
3 : PRESERVE, MAINTAIN: such as a : to watch over and defend keep us from harm b (1) : to take care of : TEND keep a garden (2) : SUPPORT (3) : to maintain in a good, fitting, or orderly condition —usually used with up c : to continue to maintain keep watch d (1) : to cause to remain in a given place, situation, or condition keep him waiting (2) : to preserve (food) in an unspoiled condition e (1) : to have or maintain in an established position or relationship keep a mistress —often used with on kept the cook on (2) : to lodge or feed for pay keep boarders f (1) : to maintain a record in keep a diary (2) : to enter in a book keep records g : to have customarily in stock for sale
4 a : to restrain from departure or removal : DETAIN keep children after school b : HOLD BACK, RESTRAIN keep them from going kept him back with difficulty
c : SAVE, RESERVE keep some for later kept some out for a friend d : to refrain from revealing keep a secret