Steve Ellison: Where Is Your Brother? What Have You Done?

Saturday, August 18, 2018 - by Steve Ellison

When the Creator speaks, the creatures should listen.  When God asks a question, we ought to carefully consider the possible responses.   We can learn from the questions God asks others in the Bible.  God had several interesting questions for Cain in Genesis 4.  The first dealt with the unrighteous reason for Cain’s anger.  The second concerned Cain’s terrible actions because of that anger.  God came to Cain and said, “Where is your brother Abel?”   Cain dodged the question by asking one of his own, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  God pressed the matter by asking, “What have you have done?”   In righteous and holy indignation, God exclaims, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!”   Cain received swift, severe, and just punishment.

 

Are we our brother’s keeper? In other passages, the Bible tells us that when we become His children, we do indeed become our brother’s keeper.  Regularly and consistently, both the Old and New Testaments tell us to watch out for the interests of others, especially those who are weak.

1 Timothy 5:6 clearly tells us to make sure that we provide for members of our household, “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (NASU)  We are indeed our brother’s keeper.

 

In an even more sobering example of being our brother’s keeper, the Bible clearly states that we have a responsibility to warn others of the impending judgment of God.  Ezekiel 3, Ezekiel 33, and other passages emphasize our responsibility to be a “watchman” to our brothers. The warning to us could not be clearer or more severe.  If those we warn refuse to heed the warning, their blood is on their own heads.  However, if we fail to warn them, the Bible says that their blood will be on our heads.  God expects us to be regularly and consistently delivering His message of turning from sin and asking to receive forgiveness of sin based on the finished work of Christ on the cross.  That message is the only method of being reconciled to God and inheriting everlasting life with God. We have been given the awesome privilege of delivering that message. That privilege is also a responsibility for which we will be held accountable.

 

There are obituaries in virtually every edition of every newspaper published in America. Every day, people in our communities die.  On many days, we were acquainted with one or more of them.  God is speaking to me; He is speaking to you, when He says, “Where is your brother?  What have you done?  His blood cries out to me from the ground.”  I am afraid that my answer must be that I know where my brother is. He is in the ground, past the hope of redemption and salvation.  I am afraid that my answer to, “What have you done” must be, “Not nearly enough. My courage lacked.  My faith lacked.  I was too concerned with my own comfort. I was not concerned with the glory of God.  I did not love my brother or my neighbor.”   My only answer to, “His blood cries out”, must be: “Oh God, forgive me for my disregard for your commands, your glory, and the condition of men.  Before it is too late, place in my heart, a desire to daily share the gospel.”   What answers will you give to your Creator? 


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