Am I My Brothers Keeper?

One of Our Short Devotions

Joshua 7

old tall ship

My Brothers Keeper

A person's responsibility is widely felt. One man in 1520 brought small pox to Mexico, causing 3.5 million deaths. In 1347 one ship brought the Black Plague to Europe and 25 million people died in five years. One decision affects many.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Cole

The Bible relates that following the victory over Jericho, sin disrupted Israel’s conquests. Despite being warned (Joshua 6:17-18), Achan disobeyed God by stealing. Read the entire story in Joshua 7. The entire Israelite community suffered from one man’s selfishness.

Examine the trade-off

Achan’s Gain:


Israel’s Loss:

    Israel’s army defeated
    Many deaths
    Destruction of property

Did Achan consider his responsibility to others? Do you?

Choices have impact

The New Testament teaches that “we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5). In sports, the infraction of one player penalizes the entire team. Your choices impact your family and friends – even your city, country and world. There are no victimless crimes.

However, the opposite is also true. Did Abraham Lincoln realize that his decision to enter politics in 1832 would culminate in his leadership of the United States during the pivotal Civil War?

My duty to be my brothers keeper

When I act wisely with my finances I benefit my family and ultimately the world. When Christians act in every human relationship as God’s ambassadors on earth the ramifications have no end. We have a big responsibility. Our influence is greater than we imagine. With God’s help, each person can make a difference.

The answer to Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a resounding “Yes.” Never forget: the decision of one invariably affects many.

Author: Paul Schlieker

Discussion ideas for your small group or Sunday School class:

1. First read the complete story of Achan in Joshua 7.

2. When have you seen the effect of one person's reliable actions? irreliable?

3. How do you observe the truth of Romans 12:5 - that in the church each member belongs to all the others? that I am my brothers keeper.

4. Finish this sentence: My decisions affect. . .

5. Share a Bible verse that motivates you to be reliable.

6. In what area do you need to think of the effect of your decisions upon others?

7. What action steps is God calling you to do?

8. Who has God put into your life that you can influence? What does it mean to you to be "my brother's keeper?"

The power of God is also evident in another story from Joshua (fall of Jericho). What do you need the power of God to do for you?

Do you feel a responsibility to tell your friends, neighbors, or co-workers about Jesus. Kingdom Driven Discipleship motivates and trains you to take Jesus to the places you live, work, and play.

Learn more about Christ in You - His Power by listening to our audio sermon. This is the third in a series of four sermons about the Person of the Holy Spirit.

An Old Testament Bible Study

For any reuse or distribution of our free Bible study materials author credit and web address is required.

Please email us with questions or comments.

Paul Schlieker, Platinum Author

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