Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 24, 2021

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” – “The LORD is your keeper”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 4:8-24.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“Cain told Abel his brother.  And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  And he said, “I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper?”  He said, “What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.  Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you;  you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.”  Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is too great to bear!  Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground;  and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”  So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.”  And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.”  Genesis 4:8-15.  


When questioned by the LORD about Abel, Cain replied:  “I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper?”  (A “keeper” is defined as a “guard, protector”.  Dictionary Concordance of my Bible, “New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)” published by The Lockman Foundation.)

Although Cain lied to the LORD, even apparently defensively and sarcastically, we notice in today’s Scripture that the LORD even protected evil Cain to a certain extent.  “…  And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.”  Verse 15.  (As a quick side note, the LORD protected evil Cain not out of any grace or favor to Cain, but for the LORD’s purpose, like the LORD had a purpose in raising up Pharaoh, but whom the LORD later drowned with his army in the sea.  Romans 9:17 and Exodus chapter 14.)  But, we can be assured that if the LORD protected evil Cain to a certain extent, then how much more will the LORD protect His beloved, His chosen ones, His righteous ones!  

Today’s Scripture leads us to meditate on the LORD being our keeper.  

“5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever
.” Psalm 121:5-8.

“3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4.

Consider the amount of attention and tender care and protection that the LORD gives to Israel figuratively described as a vineyard of wine.

“2 In that day,
“A vineyard of wine, sing of it!
3 “I, the LORD, am its keeper;
I water it every moment.
So that no one will damage it,
I guard it night and day
.” Isaiah 27:2-3.


%d bloggers like this: