And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Am I my brother’s keeper? The short answer is yes we are our brother’s keeper. In fact Cain was cursed and sent out of the presence of God for killing his brother instead of protecting him.
The word used for brother’s keeper in Genesis 4:9 is the same thing the LORD told Adam and his wife to do when He put them in the Garden of Eden. They were instructed to dress and to “keep” the garden. So the “keeping” concept would have been real familiar in the body of knowledge on the earth at that time.
To keep means to hedge about as with thorns or to protect. It is like a shepherd protecting his sheep or the night watchmen of a city on duty as everyone else sleeps. A shepherd has an obligation to protect his sheep and a watchman has an obligation to protect others as they sleep and we have an obligation to protect our brother. So much so that if we take our brother’s life instead of protecting it we are in serious violation of the law of man and God.
So we are to build a hedge of protection around our brother. Now most assuredly our brother must choose to stay inside that protection on their own but it does not relieve me of my responsibility if they choose not to stay within that protection. This is why we are commanded to love our neighbor as our self. To love your neighbor as your self means to build a fence of protection around them.
I build a fence of protection around my brother by telling them the truth and the truth is that Jesus Christ loves them and died for them on Calvary’s cross. Jesus gave His life for us and protected us from condemnation instead of taking our life, unlike Cain who took his brother’s life.
The test is, would you allow someone to do to you what you are doing to your brother? I’m afraid many times the answer is no there is no way I would allow someone to treat me the way I treat my brother. Help us Jesus.