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January 8


“Am I my brother’s keeper?” —Genesis 4:9

Read Genesis 4:1-16

Yesterday we were confronted with a moving example of neighbourly love. Today we are faced with a bad example; the first family that existed was confronted with a murder committed by a son. Two sons in this family had the same parents and therefore experienced the same upbringing, care, and parental advice. They had both been taught the fear of God. But what a great difference there was between the two!

The one was self-willed and would rather do evil than good, which caused his parents much sorrow and grief. Cain’s sin grieved God and dishonored Him. The second son, however, was thankful for the good advice given by his parents; he desired to serve the Lord. This had great consequences. Cain was hardhearted toward his brother, and remained deaf to the loving warnings of God. He was consumed with jealousy, especially after the Lord accepted Abel’s offering. As a result, he murdered his brother.

Who do you resemble? You say, “But, I am not a murderer.” And yet, the Lord Jesus says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). Entertaining thoughts of hatred and resentment are actually sins against the sixth commandment.

Cain was careless in his answer to the Lord with respect to Abel’s whereabouts: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Did he think that he would be able to get away with his crime? Did God not know what he had done? When you see this sin in your own life, do not react as Cain did in his response to the Lord’s perfect sense of justice: “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (v. 13). Instead, confess your sin earnestly so that you might also be forgiven. The blood of Christ speaks of better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

Do you understand what Cain meant by his response?

This devotional was taken from “The Time of Your Life” a daily devotional published by the Youth & Educational Committee of the FRC. To order a printed copy of this book, contact:


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