Cain has just murdered his brother, Abel. As they have been alone in the field, just the two of them, Cain wants to play as though he knows nothing both of what has happened to his brother and his whereabouts. This is evident in his response.
Where’s Abel, your brother?
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). In this question it’s not that God needs to be informed about where Abel is, rather, he’s challenging Cain about his action.
This text sends me always back to the course that I followed some time back: Justice and Liberation: Biblical Reading. I have forgotten many beautiful things that our lecturer said, but one thing still lingers always on my mind. He said. When God asks Cain where’s your brother Abel, he’s asking him to give account of what has become of his brother as a result of what he’s done to him.
What does that mean for me?
The text is sending me back to that action or that word I said to someone, which I perhaps want to shovel aside as if nothing happened. I should find out, what fruit has it produced in the lives of others?
God is repeating the same question to me today: where’s your brother? Where’s your sister?
What justice means
And so, to find out whether I have been just or unjust to someone, it’s all about looking at the response I give to the following question: what has become of my brother, what has become of my sister as a result of what I did or said to them? What impact have my action and words left in their lives?
Let me allow, therefore, this question to soar unobstructed in my mind: where’s your brother? Where’s your sister? Have I been just to them?
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