Genesis 4:9 “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ “

     Cain’s indifference to his brother underscored an attitude of selfishness and self-reliance that formed the emotional background to the first recorded murder in the Bible.  Cain felt he was being slighted by God’s love for his brother so that eventually the seed of resentment produced the fruit of the first killing.  The Forerunner Commentary points out; “Cain’s retort to God’s inquiry as to Abel’s whereabouts is also significant: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Cain’s attitude of indifference toward his fellow man greatly influenced later generations.”

     Self-reliance and selfishness has become endemic in our society.  Bill McKibbon points out that the saying, ‘the Lord helps those that help themselves’ has been erroneously attributed to Scripture; ”Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical.” 

     It is not just the Americans who falsely believe in this but Canadians as well.  A 2011 study by the Vancouver Foundation reports;  “While gathering data for a 2011 study on issues that mattered most to locals, the Vancouver Foundation made a startling discovery: . . . A growing civic malaise and indifference to one another. A sense that we are becoming less engaged in the life of our community. That beyond a handful of family and friends, we feel a lack of connection to the other people that make up our community.”  Even the idea of being a good neighbour has fallen out of fashion. 

     The guiding principle of our consumerist society is “Me First”!  The wisdom of our consumerist society tells us to have fun first. Video games draw young men into intensely unreal yet realistic violent solitary experiences.  Who knows where that kind of  ‘fun’ can lead?  Shopping has become the preferred therapy for many who feel sad and left out.  Yet no amount of plastic stuff will fill the emptiness at the core of so  many.  Looking good has become more important than doing good.  The Bible tells us that it is our responsibility to deal with our own character flaws by choosing the right course of action.  God told Cain plainly; “Why are you angry?<sup class="crossreference" value="(K)”> Why is your face downcast?  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;<sup class="crossreference" value="(L)”> it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”  (Genesis 4:6) 

     The idea that ‘sin is crouching at every person’s door step’ is not a very popular idea today.  We also believe the lie that people are basically good.   At least until some loner starts gunning down innocent people.  What laws can we make to protect us from the ‘sin that is crouching at our door that means to have us,’?  What caliber of gun will provide the fire power to put down the enemy within us?  There is only one law that can deliver us from evil and this  law is embodied in the name that the world wants nothing to do with; “This is the verdict: Light<sup class="crossreference" value="(AE)”> has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”(John 3:19)
     Indifference and a self absorbed frustration lay behind the first murder.  Cain’s world had shrunk to the point that he could only see himself in it.  There was no room for his brother and no room for his family let alone his community.  And it all started with Cain not having room for God in his life.  Cain was too important.  Everything else came second, especially God.  From there the spirit of Cain went out into the world (see Jude 1:11).   Sadly his “Me First” mark has become a badge of honour and the mark of celebrity in our culture.

     Gun’s wont put down the spirit of Cain – you would be just shooting in the dark.  Legislation won’t control the spirit of Cain – instructions written in the dark cannot guide.  Turn on the light for God’s sake!  Jesus said; “I am<sup class="crossreference" value="(J)”> the light of the world.<sup class="crossreference" value="(K)”> Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)

     Praise the Lord!<sup class="crossreference" value="(L)”>