The book of Genesis records the story of two brothers who had brought an offering unto the Lord, nonetheless, only one was pleasing to God. Knowing his sacrifice had been rejected, Cain became angry, so much so that he killed his brother. When questioned by God regarding Abel’s whereabouts, he simply says, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Big brother Cain was now tainted with innocent blood and outright lies.
It is a lie to believe that having disregard for others is acceptable. In a world driven by an everyone-for-themselves mentality, Christ calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. To love the Lord with all that’s within us is easy to understand, after all He is our Creator and Redeemer; however, equally important is to love, protect, and care for our brothers and sisters. Much easier said than done, right? This is why Jesus taught it as part of the greatest commandment. The small love to hate, and the greats love to love. Oh how great was the love on the cross that made a way for you and me!
They say love edifies but pride puffs up. Unfortunately for Cain, his pride got the best of him. In contrast, the patriarch Abraham understood the importance of pursuing peace with his brother even if it meant taking the shorter end of the stick. Both him and his brother’s son, Lot, were rich in flocks but the land was not enough to bear both of them. As one could imagine this created tension between the two. In response to this situation, Abraham tells his nephew to part ways with him. He tells him, ’Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.’.
Not only did Abraham pursue peace with his brother, but He also kept him from harms way. Just a few verses ahead, one can see Lot is held captive but Abraham fiercely runs to his rescue.
14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.
The enemy of our souls wants to hold us captive but all it takes is one brother to take a stand, gather all the people, and attack the enemy. Because our battle was never against one another, rather it was always us against the forces of darkness. Let us take up arms and take back what the enemy has stolen from us, starting with our brother and sister.
Like a good father, brother and friend, Abraham kept Lot from stumbling. Just a thought, but could it be that this was one of the reasons God chose and entrusted Abraham to be the father of many nations? Whether there be truth in that or not, we can all learn from Abraham’s selfless example. He understood what it meant to protect and care for the brethren.
You see, when the unconditional love of God operates in us it has the power to bring strength to the weak, defend the oppressed, and ultimately lead them to perfect and complete freedom in Christ. It our responsibility to keep our brothers and sisters who God so intentionally placed in our lives. My prayer and hope is that we all make it together. Let there be no strife for we are brothers. With that, thank you for keeping me. I’ll do my part and keep you too, dear brother and dear sister.