Summary: We spend a lot of time posing questions to God, but what about the questions that God would pose to us?
Where is Your Brother?
Series: What God Wants To Know
Brad Bailey – September 14, 2014
Continuing the series we began last week…entitled “What God Wants to Know.”
Last week… “Where are you?... do you know the position you are in of being separate from me… from the very source of life and love?
Today we are confronted with another of the life defining questions God asks…
“Where is your brother?”…and equally implied…”Where is your sister?”
I want to allow each of us to let that question speak to us for a moment.
As it does…it has a way of becoming deeper in what it raises.
Now the Biblical narrative of our human roots… tells of what unfolds between two of the offspring.
Genesis 4:3-13 (NIV)
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth." 13 Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear.
> This is the next scene the Scriptures after human fore parents began to try to live independently from God… tried to find life in their own autonomy and authority. What we see is…
When we are no longer living in union with the source of all security and significance… immediately how we see others is corrupted and sown with conflict.
What unfolds is more truly our human story than we might like to think.
It begins with two bothers… two brothers who are different.
One, Abel, is a herdsman…shepherd…and the other, Cain, is a farmer.
We all know something about how such differences can divide us. Differences that often reflect something rich … can divide us when we let them.
They bring their offerings to God. One found approval…but the other didn’t.
There are various ideas about why God may not have found Cain’s sacrifice acceptable.
Perhaps it’s simply because of the lack of quality (no reference to the ‘best’ as their was with Abel)…perhaps because Abel brought that which represented the giving of life and blood…. And only a life given can atone. What’s clear is that something is not right in Cain’s heart. 
As God engages Cain…it becomes clear how defiant Cain is.
Cain refused to truly face and engage what God is saying. We may wonder why he was even coming to bring an offering in the first place. Strange…but not so unusual.
Any of us can with a form of outward goodness…but refuse to truly submit to God. (Jesus quoted the prophet Isiah (29:13), and spoke of those who “honor him with their lips...but whose hearts are far away.”(Matthew 15:7-8.)
As those who can do the same, we do well to see that just as with Cain,
> God looks at the heart of worship. What God sees in our worship matters.
We will never be able to hide behind out religious activity or social persona.
But it all leads to the question that is dropped before Cain…like a 10 ton rock… dropped before us.
“Where is your brother?”
How does Cain meet the obvious? He says he doesn’t know. An outright lie to avoid responsibility. And then he adds his obvious defiance and says further: saying “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s almost like Cain is making it sound like he’s in some way offended that God would ask him where Abel was. It’s like he’s saying to God, “Why on earth would you even expect me to know such a thing. I have no responsibility toward him.”