I was just thinking about Rahab again, and how hard it must have been for her to learn the ways of the Lord after being raised in a pagan land. (see: Who loves today’s Rahabs?)
Even though she had put her trust in the One true God, there was so much she had to unlearn as she tried to learn about the One who had shown mercy to her and to her family.
God showed her mercy because of her active faith which led her to hide the spies and to obey their instructions.
But I wonder how many in the camp of God’s people were quick to accept her?
Anyway, as I was reading the story of the Good Samaritan, I saw a connection to the story of Rahab.
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Funny how Jericho is the same city (rebuilt, of course) from which Rahab had been rescued.
Thieves beat him up, taking everything from him, and they leave him lying there half dead.
One of his fellow countrymen, the most religious of the religious, a priest, sees him lying there. The priest avoids helping him by crossing the road to the other side and continuing on his way.
Along comes another man down the lonely road; it’s another one of his countrymen, a Levite, another religious person. Surely he will show mercy?
But no, he also passes by on the other side of the road.
These guys probably have thought up some great excuses for not helping. (Do we ever do that?)
- If he dies while I’m trying to help him, he will be unclean, and I will be defiled.
- I’m in a hurry; I’ll be late if I help him.
- I’ll get my clothes dirty with his blood, and it might not wash out. My wife will be so upset!
- The robbers might still be around, and if I stop to help, they might attack me, too.
- I don’t know how; I am inadequate for the task.
- Surely someone else will come along who can do a better job.
But the foreigner who comes along next, while some of these same excuses may go through his mind, he decides to do the right thing, the merciful thing, the thing that will please God.
He stops and helps the man and gives generously of his time, energy, and money to make sure that he is taken care of.
Jesus asks, “Which of the three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” Luke 10:36
“The one who showed mercy toward him,” came the answer.
“Go and do the same.” vs. 37
This is Jesus’ desire for all His followers.
Just as God showed mercy to Rahab, and as the Good Samaritan showed mercy to a man in need, so we also should show mercy to those in need around us.
It is the God-like, Jesus-commended thing to do.
You may find yourself where I used to be, thinking you don’t know anyone in need.
But I believe it is important to determine in your heart that you will walk in obedience to God in this area, so that when (not if) God brings someone onto your path, you will be ready to do the right thing.
- It can be hard.
- It can be time consuming.
- We may feel inadequate,
- We may get our hands and clothes dirty.
- It may make us feel afraid.
- We may wish God had given the job to someone else.
But showing mercy is God’s way for us.
Showing mercy is what God wants us to do.
He will help us and show us how.
And besides, obedience to God is always SO worth it in the end!
Are you in?
“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV
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