Adam and Eve had two boys. They grew up in a relatively pristine and beautiful world together but there was something ugly in someone’s heart. Cain rose up and killed his brother Able and Ables’ blood cried out from the ground.
Gen 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”…And it happened when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.And Jehovah said unto Cain, Where is your brother Abel? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Dumb question. Sin makes you stupid!
And He said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground. And now you are cursed more than the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
God said to Cain your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. (Thankfully Jesus blood speaks better things. It wasn’t blood spilt by the brother but it was blood spilt for the brothers.)
This is the first mention of brother in the Bible and also the first mention of sin, which was in relationship to an attitude toward a brother. Of course the whole bible teaches that our love for our brothers is the gauge of our actual love for God. 1 John 4.20.
When you till the ground, it will not again give its strength to you. And you shall be a vagabond and a fugitive in the earth. And Cain said to Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold! You have driven me out from the face of the earth today, and I shall be hidden from Your face. Gen 4:8 -14
The Lord told Cain that because the ground was polluted with his brother’s blood, it would no longer produce the fruit he expected. The way we treat your brother will determine the fruit of our field. God said you will be driven from the face of the ground and from the face of God. This is also the first mention of the face of God. The way you treat your brother determines the availability and vision of God’s face.
This idea brotherly responsibility is right through the Bible. As the people approached the Promised Land, the Reubenites and Gadites wanted to stay on the far side of the Jordan where there was less fighting to be done. But God said you will go over with your brothers and ensure they enter their inheritance before you can settle down to enjoy yours. God’s requirement is no one can inherit their land unless all the brothers inherit their land. Jos 1:14-16. Like the Three Musketeers one for all and all for one That’s brotherhood. God withhold our full inheritance until we have helped our brothers into theirs. This is reflected in the new Testament Hebrews is let us go on to perfection – no one goes on to maturity alone.
Many years earlier, Joseph had been sold to the Egyptians by his brothers. Eventually he was promoted to the ruler of the land at the same time a famine came upon Israel. His brothers were sent to find bread from the Egyptian ruler and when they arrive Joseph asks his unsuspecting brothers “Do you have a father or a brother? And we said to my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one. And his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him. And you said to your servants, Bring him down to me, and let me see him. And we said to my lord, The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, he would die. And you said to your servants, Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more. Gen 44:19 -23
Joseph is a type of Christ. He is the beloved son rejected by his brothers, falsely accused, sentenced with two offenders but is finally exalted to rule. Joseph had bread for his brothers and he is most interested to meet the need of all our brothers. When asked if they had other brothers, they told him they had one at home with their father and Joseph said you will not see my face until your brother be with you.
Jesus our brother also has bread for His brothers; food which can keep us alive and bring us into our destiny, but it seems that Jesus attitude is like that of josephs – something of His face and glory will not be seen till we bring our brothers with us.
Friends, we can seek His favour and His face but he says “bring your brother.” We can seek fruitfulness in the field but He says “Where is your brother?” We can seek bread; He says “bring your brother with you.” It seems we cannot completely have our inheritance until our brother has his. Are our relationships with our fellow church leaders or members suitably unselfish and inclusive? Is there a brother or sister that you need to go and bring? He asks us this question “Where is your brother?” because the brother left behind was the brother that the father loved.