When we take a moment to re-
flect on the current global mood,
it is grim and unsettling. Death,
war, and terror plague the news
with images of people in immense
suffering and displacement. Refu-
gees flee their homes and live in
camps or on the streets in strange
What is God’s heart in the midst
of death, war and terrorism? The
expression, God’s heart, is used
to describe all that God cares for
most. The phrase can be found
directly in His word (John 1:1).
Let’s look at the lives of Cain and
Abel. The story told in Genesis 4
of two brothers is familiar to many.
The children of Adam and Eve, the
second generation, seek to live in
good relationship with God. So at
harvest, Cain, a farmer and Abel,
a shepherd, present their offerings
to God. One gift is accepted and
one gift is rejected.
It all goes downhill quickly. Cain
God is listening and
is rejected and angry, his face
hangs low. You could be thinking:
“Of course he is! God just re-
jected him.” But, the conversation
doesn’t end here. God does not
leave Cain abandoned. He actually
wants to have a talk with him. He
does not ignore Cain’s anger. God
asks him about it. God includes
clear instruction that Cain will be
accepted if he chooses to do what
is right (Gen. 4: 7).
actively working for
the good of all.
This leads us to the hear wrenching part of the story. Cain is taken
over by anger towards God and
envy of his brother. He sets a trap
for Abel. Cain leads Abel out to a
field and kills his brother. The Lord
is completely aware that this has
happened. He is not silent. He
comes to Cain after, and simply
says: “Where is Abel your brother?”
(Gen. 4: 9).
God knows. But He offers Cain
the opportunity to be honest. He is
giving him the gift of confessing his
trespasses. He is hoping that Cain
will use this chance to do what is
Cain boldly responds: “I do not
know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
(Gen. 4: 9).
I imagine God having the biggest
face-palm gesture, here because
of so much frustration, shock,
exasperation and unrest from this
response. Cain is saying: “What?
Am I responsible for his life? Am I
responsible for what he does and
where he goes? Don’t look at me.
He can take care of himself, or
maybe that’s your job, God.”
Still, God chooses to continue
the conversation and shine truth on
the matter. The Lord plainly says
to Cain: “What have you done?
Listen! Your brother’s blood cries
out to me from the ground” (Gen.
HOW AN ANCIENT STORY CAN HELP US
RESPOND TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS
- By Lindsay Haraburda