[CF Devotionals] 2007-12-13 - Your Brother's Blood

Gen 4:8-10 And 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. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground. (NASB)

Cain can not have been thinking. Adam and Eve have surely told their children about the power and wisdom of God. He just lied to an all-knowing, all-present being. God knew beforehand that Cain would murder his brother Able. God knew when and why Able would die. In spite of all this, Cain tells God he does not know where Able is. God forces Cain to confront his sin in an effort to reach Cain and have him confess his guilt and return to fellowship with God.

In every major city in this country, and probably around the world, there are murders, rapes, children are abused, and robberies. The question is probably not if a murder will occur, but how many people will die at the hands of the fellow man. The horrific exchange of a human life for a sum of money or some possession is a far too common transaction. Even if the crime is solved and the killer is brought to justice, the fact that the victim has been taken from their family, friends and loved-ones is irreversible.

I paint this dark picture to ask a question. Is God responsible?

God is ultimately in control of the events of the universe in that He has the ability to stop people from doing evil and prevent accidents and disasters from occurring. Then there is the counter-point of the free will granted to humanity from our Creator. We are free moral agents, responsible for our own actions. Was God responsible for Hurricane Katrina? We are far too limited to begin to make that judgment or question the purpose if He were. One thing is certain that we have the ability to help those who lost everything even if it is solely with our prayers.

I'm certain there are times when God has intervened in the affairs of man and prevented a man from reaching his victim from a traffic jam to simply stopping his heart from taking the next beat. And, like Cain and Able, there are the vast majority of times when God allows our actions to move ahead unimpeded to their unspeakable ends. Would Able's blood have cried out to the Lord if God were responsible for Able's death? God is the only source of salvation. Able may be calling to his only access to eternity. Can God use the evil acts of we mortals for own ends for good? Of course.

This much is certain. God has called Cain to be accountable for his brother's death. Cain bears the responsibility for his actions before a just Lord. God is merciful and offers Cain an opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness. God could have stopped Cain but chose not to do so. God also did not stop Adolph Hitler and his allies from waging war across the globe killing millions. Those who won the war killed millions in an effort to stop the Axis Powers in sparing the world from tyranny.

God knows all ends from the beginning of time. He knows what is going to happen and when and to who. He knew all these things and created Adam and Eve in spite of these facts. And because He did, there will one day be a glorious Heaven filled with His children praising His name. I can not conclude that God accountable for every evil in this world. Are there times when God prevents a future horror by the untimely death of a single person? Almost without question. Even then, I can not place the blame with God. His judgments are just and holy. Does that make God responsible for child abuse and premeditated murder? I, a finite being, can not make that work in my mind in light of the unbounded grace and mercy offered to each of us.

The God who so loved the world to send his only Son, Jesus, to save us from an eternity separated from Himself. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to bridge the gap between our inability to save ourselves from sin and allow us a path to eternal life in paradise. Will we be held responsible for our actions? Yes. Even if Jesus is our Savior, He will as us to account for our actions. Our loss will be rewards that were waiting for us, but not our salvation. The loving plan of salvation was laid out in eternity past, before Adam and Eve were created to save us. God still created us knowing we would turn away from Him. And today He still calls out to mankind to come home and be forgiven.

Think about that kind of love beyond measure.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com