Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nehemiah pt 1: Yours, Mine, and Ours

Am I my brother's keeper?

Yes, you are. Sorry to break your streak of self-consumption. Well, no, I'm not sorry. After all, with commands to "love our neighbors as ourselves" or to "carry each other's burdens" and similar verses of being a body - it ought to be apparent that we ARE our brother's keepers.

We live in such a conceited society, though. Everything's supposed to cater to "me" and if "I am unhappy, I will make the situation cater to me, otherwise, I will leave and detach myself. Indefinitely." (A rambled topic). Minds like these can get consumed with waiting for God or the church make us feel better about ourselves and make our lives easier.

We can easily forget that we are in a body - it is a support system. And we do not simply call it that so they may support us, but that we may support others. Too often, when we see obstacles and a whole lot of mess, our tendency is to run. Who in their right mind runs towards the problem?

But David ran towards Goliath. Only because he knew Who sent him.

In the time that Nehemiah was a cupbearer to a king of another country, the Israelites went into captivity in Babylon. In time they returned to their desolate city - walls, defenses, and hope destroyed. Hearing of this, Nehemiah wept with empathy.

...I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you...
-Nehemiah 1:6

He wasn't remotely a part of the issue, save the fact that he too is an Israelite! But God pressed upon his heart a heaviness for the people, who he repented for.
Yes, he took the responsibility of repenting for his forefathers, and himself.

How often have I been guilty of leaving a fellow sister or brother to deal with their own punishment? "Well, they made that mistake, let God deal with them." When was the last time my heart broke for someone else? Where I stepped in the gap and said, "No, LORD, withhold Your judgment - show Your mercy!"

I am not saying that suddenly, we need to become the Savior and take responsibility for everything - I am saying that our hearts need to be opened. Our peripheral vision needs to be opened. We need to ask God what is on HIS heart, so we know who we need to stand in the gap for.


Part of the reason I decided to talk about this is because it's distressing to know that people prophesy judgment on this "wicked generation" - as if, they want this nation to be destroyed for its immorality. "Look at how immoral they are! God should strike them dead!" I despise that mentality so much!

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
-Ezekiel 18.23

This is still in the Old Covenant too! We are in the New Covenant that says nothing separates us from His love. Why should we profess curses and judgment on people, or why should we cast the first stone? Why are we so concerned about our own spiritual fulfillment, then get offended at a world that lives contrary to the Word - simply because no one has told them differently?

It's not common for people to run towards trouble. But by whose standards? It's time we start interceding - repenting for these people who Jesus Himself said, "Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing."

If you take light of darkness - surprise surprise - all you have is... darkness.

We know the Truth. We carry the Light.


Reading: Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Listening: Rise Up by Rita Springer
Watching: Eyes and Wings Conference at The Lighthouse Church, Mammoth Lakes, CA

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