“Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.” Genesis 37:26 NLT

There were almost 300 murders last year. Out of the 265 murders in Memphis 208 of those were committed by young men with the average age ranging from 20 to 28 years of age. These were young black men. Brothers are killing brothers. Something needs to be done about the murder epidemic in our city.

In the anti-violence anthem in the late 80’s, “Self-Destruction,” Kool Moe Dee said, “I’ve never ever had to run from the KKK and I shouldn’t have to run from a black man!” There should be some kinsman-ship between young African-American men but instead there is jealousy.

Joseph was the favorite son of Israel. He was born to his favorite wife Rachael. Israel made a coat of many colors for Joseph but not his eleven other sons. For that reason they hated their brother.

When they saw him coming to check up on them they schemed to kill him and throw him in a pit. But his brother Judah asked, “what will we gain by killing our brother, after all he is our flesh and blood? And plus we will have to cover up for the crime.”

What do we gain by killing each other? Nothing! We participate in our own self-destruction. We don’t need the KKK to perpetuate genocide of black people. We kill ourselves. On top of that we lose young men before they reach their prime because those who commit the crime end up serving time.

How do we stop the murder?

  1. Show favor to the eleven not just the one. These eleven brothers had resentment because their father favored their half brother but not them. Love deficits create hard hearts that have no regard for life. Our young men need to be “fathered or mentored” at an early age. Men need to reach out to younger men to let them know that their life matters.
  2. Help young men to come up with a vision for their lives. Joseph had a vision for his life that he kept sharing with his brothers but all his brothers did was work but not vision. They were jealous of their brother’s dreams. We need to help young men see beyond their current conditions to God’s plan for their lives.
  3. Get Judah to speak up. Judah’s name means praise. He spoke up against murder and opted for another solution. Our young men need some spiritual intervention. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord. Judah had a fear of the Lord because he knew there would be an accounting of his brother’s blood. An activist from Hurt Village projects told me she asked the young men in her community why they kept killing each other. They told her, “Where there’s no hope there is no regret!” These young men need to be taught about faith. Faith is the substance of things Hoped for! Faith is the assurance of knowing that a more desired future is a real possibility with God’s help. Hope in a God who can help is the only thing that can stop unnecessary murders.

Dear God,

Our young men are dying and they are killing each other for nothing. Give them hope that life can be better than what they see. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. As believers, Father motivate us to run intervention to young men who are set on killing. Give us a vision for a better life for these young men. Show them a way of escape from poverty, hopelessness, and hearts that are cold from a lack of nurture. God the harvest is plentiful but the mentors/fathers are few! Send more men and women who can help put an end to the self-destruction we see in Memphis.

In Jesus Name,

Amen