Brotherly Love (Day 2 from Cleansing Thoughts)
Later that night, when I was reading in the book of Hebrews, I realized in full the comparison between the shed blood of Christ and that of Able’s. We all know the story of how Cain took the life of his brother, Able, out of jealousy. Most feel it stemmed from Able offering a more excellent sacrifice than his brother because it was an animal. However, if we look at the emphasis given in the book of Hebrews, which is faith, then we see Able’s sacrifice was acceptable because of the attitude of his heart. Between the two brothers, Able’s faith and desire to please God demonstrated an act of true worship, while Cain’s heart was moved by jealousy, which resulted in his brother’s murder. Hebrews 12:24 states that Able’s blood cried out for vengeance while that of Christ’s speaks of forgiveness.
Sibling rivalry, merited or not, can cause brokenness in a family, holding those involved imprisoned within themselves. The relationship is fueled by jealousy, causing them to become blind to the other’s good points. By seeing only the faults of the other, all concerned live in a home that becomes oppressed and poor in spirit. The Word of God says, “For thus is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was if the wicked one and murdered his brother. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:11-12, 14-15, NKJV). One act of retaliation leads to another until there is no room for reconciliation. But it is not only our actions that cause split relationships with in the families, but our words as well. To many times, we speak words that we do not really mean, but once they are spoken, we cannot truly take them back. Jesus stated that others would know us by the fruit, or words, of our mouth because they are spoken from the heart, and it is by those same words that our eternal destiny will be determined. Matthew 12:36-37 (NJKV) states, “I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
When Cain killed his brother, God placed a mark upon him to protect him from anyone wanting to avenge his brother’s death. The prophet Isaiah looked over the years of time and heard Jesus read the Word, which began His public ministry. And as Jesus read these words, He looked to the cross where He took the marks of Calvary for the forgiveness of mankind. Good loved us so much that He placed His most treasured possessions within the arms of mankind.