Editor's Note: Every Sudnay, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted message in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.
Gen. 14:1-16 - Lot’s Rescue - Part 3
So Abram was informed by an escaped prisoner of the battle about the looting and the capture of his nephew. And so Abram took up his sword and rallied 318 trained fighting men from his camp, and set out to rescue him. Looking at maps shows us that Abram’s men marched more than 100-150 miles to get to the city of Laish, later renamed Dan. And there he overtook the forces of 4 mighty kings at the northern border of the Promised Land and won a mighty victory, rescued Lot, and returned with all the spoil that had been plundered from Sodom..
The Biblical account doesn’t record the reunion of Lot and Abram. We have no idea whether Abram received any thanks for his heroic rescue. Probably not, knowing Lot!
But greathearted people have no need to be thanked; that’s not their motivation. They don’t keep lists titled: “Jerks who Never Said Thank You.” Your greathearted when you come to the rescue without calling attention to yourself or expecting to have a write-up in the paper or having what you did plastered all over social media highlighting your heroic deed.
As I so like to do, and this more so than any other time, let’s put ourselves in Abrams position!! You can say what you want, but really, who reading this could honestly say they would have done the same. A nephew... took the best land from you... is selfish and went to a wicked place... he deserved what he got... let alone put so much on the line... NOT IN THIS DAY AND AGE!!
In all this, do we not see a picture of Jesus Christ!!! He didn’t sit idly in heaven, waiting for us to deserve to be redeemed! If He had, all of eternity would have gone by without our redemption! Nor was our redemption risk free and painless! Jesus was willing to leave the glories of heaven and come down to us, taking the form of a servant among us.
When necessary, as king of his people, he took up a whip to clear the trash out of the temple. (Matt. 21:12-13).
As king of the Jews, He intervened powerfully to assure justice for His oppressed people.
Yet in His own hour of need, He told the disciples to put away their swords, and refused to call the angelic hosts to His defense (Matt. 26:52-54).
Did WE deserve that act of salvation?? Hardly! His own people rejected Him, nailing Him to the cross, ironically beneath a sign that read: “The King of the Jews.” Jesus was willing not only to take risks for the sake of his undeserving kinsmen, but also to suffer great agony for them on that cross. But there, on the cross, as in the person of Melchizedek, righteousness and peace met!
There we find not only the proof that Jesus loves us, but also the pain-filled means by which He powerfully delivered the undeserving people He had chosen for Himself, even in the face of their denial and ingratitude toward Him.
How great is the love that God has shown us! As the Apostle Paul reminds us: “God has shown His love for us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8). This salvation that we have undeservedly received provides the motivation for us to go out and help others!
I have always said that it isn’t by HAVING to do what the Bible tells us to do, or the Pastor telling you or motivating you to have to do what the Bible lays out for us to have to obey, but rather, in a better and deeper understanding of the Gospel message and what that all implies. When we get a deeper understanding of all Jesus accomplished and did for us, these things will automatically flow out from us because we love Him so much.
In the light of the Cross, how could we refuse to help others on the grounds that they are undeserving, or that helping them might endanger our comfort and security?? If we are truly His disciples, we will be like the good Samaritan who decided to help first and ask questions later.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes truly helping someone demands tough love, matching our help with signs of repentance and the fruit in their lives. Sometimes we do have to refuse to help in that it would continue to enable them or allow them to remain enslaved in their sinful habits.
But our criteria for refusing to help can only be whether our action can genuinely help the person, NOT whether they deserve the help or the fact that it might inconvenience us. And when we think about “helping,” always keep in mind that it isn’t so much what we “do” for another person, but in “whose name” we do it for and that that name and purpose be known in the doing.
Just as a missionaries main work is NOT to feed the hungry, build homes, dig wells etc., but to be representatives, ambassadors for the One who sent us and give Him the credit and make His name known.
Brian Cole doesn’t go out to see people set free of their strongholds and bondages, or to give a word to make their lives better or help them be able feel better about themselves - I do what I do to make the One who CAN do all that known! And bring them to Him!
Like David said in the battle against Goliath: “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Sam. 17:45). We come at things IN His name FOR His name to bring people TO His name, and to make His name Known! “For the battle is the Lord’s.”