Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  

Genesis 4:9.

It is almost impossible not to turn on the TV or read a new paper and not hear about famous siblings. We have the “celebrity” Kardashian-Jenner sisters, Hockey had the Staal brothers, figure skating had Torvill and Dean, wrestling brought us the Hart family, and the music world introduced us to Donny and Marie Osmond – too old, how about the Jonas brothers. These siblings were often in the news because of the good things they did together, but sometimes we heard about them because of what they did to each other.

Genesis records the story of the first children born out of a human relationship. Sadly, Cane and Abel are recognized not by the fact they were the first children mentioned in the bible, but their notoriety is linked to being part of the first family tragedy. Sibling rivalry is one way in which the evil one attempts to destroy families and has played on his success since the day these brothers were together. Cain, the firstborn child, murdered his brother Abel, the second-born child and sibling jealousy has continued to this day.

Some of us have grown up in the shadow of another sibling and spent what seemed like a lifetime being compared to them and even told to be “more like them”. Whenever we are compared against one another, the evil one will use this as an opportunity to stir something up. Have you seen a family tragedy play out? It is a heartbreaking thing to watch as not only are the feuding siblings affected, so is the rest of the family. Brothers and sisters not talking to each other for years because of something probably long forgotten and not even severe enough to have been considered can deprive many relatives of a loving family relationship.

Maybe it is time we change that situation. Satan can not be allowed to have victory over families because he was defeated at the cross. We, the children of God, can claim victory over him. Today we ask that you pray for a broken sibling relationship that you know about, whether it is in your own family or is happening to a friend or colleague. Consider conflict in both biological and spiritual relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to intervene in the lives of those in conflict and ask that He bring them together as God intended.  Lastly, thank God for your own brother or sister, and if you are an only child, thank God for the wonderful sibling relationships you know about.  Ask Him to bless and protect these relationships.