Tuesday, August 10, 2010

God helps me through others. God helps others through me.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 – "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed."

Raise your hand if you've ever been in need of help. Ok, hold on, let me count…….1, 2, 3……yep, that makes all of us. Life can throw us into some pretty sticky situations, especially the life of following Jesus, so it's no wonder that God loves to provide us help to overcome those situations. But wait. Stop. Think. Think about that time you needed help and God provided:

  • That time you were emotionally drained; were you suddenly riding a tidal wave of comfort?
  • Or that time your vehicle or refrigerator broke, did you just pray and it fixed itself?
  • Or here's one. Remember that time when you needed a little help financially? Did envelopes of cash just fall from the sky?

Well, maybe (I'm all for falling cash envelopes!). But more than likely God provided you help in the form of another person. A family member who comforted. A skilled professional who intervened. A friend (or stranger) who sacrificed. It's my belief that God gets a kick out of making us cross paths with each other at certain times, just so we can help or be helped. And sometimes (more often than we think), the people who help us, or whom we help, are the people we least expect. Such is the case with this week's lesson!

Joshua was now the leader of the nation of Israel. And God had told Joshua that he would lead them into the Promised Land. However, the Promised Land wasn't exactly vacant. It was already inhabited by people God didn't want there. The Lord told Joshua he would have victory over these people, so Joshua set out to conquer them. He sent two spies into the City of Jericho, which stood across the Jordan River in the Promised Land, to scout out information. When they got there, they met a woman named Rahab. Now Rahab was an unlikely ally for a couple of Israelites, but as we'll see, that's exactly what she was. Word spread to the King of Jericho that there were spies in the city AND they knew where they were staying……with Rahab. The King sent officials to Rahab's house to capture the spies. But when Rahab heard the officials coming, she quickly hid the two spies up on the roof. And when asked, she said they had left already and that if the officials chased quickly, they might catch them. What a pal!! After the officials left, Rahab told the spies that she KNEW the Lord was with them, and that they would conquer the land, and that everyone was afraid of them (good intel for them to know!). She had helped them with their mission. But in return she wanted to be sure that when they came to take over Jericho, she and ALL her family would be safe. The two Israelites agreed. God had taken two unlikely allies and used them to help each other overcome a sticky situation. (Joshua chapter 2).

I'm reminded of an article I read about our body's immune system. It said:

Designed with amazingly dynamic communication networks that pass information back and forth between hundreds of millions of cells, the human immune system strategically fights off microscopic invaders and remembers them each time they attack the body.

Isn't that kinda what we should be like? Always in constant communication, systematically helping each other fend off and overcome "infections" in the body of Christ? God uses others to help us, and He uses us to help others. I like the song by Sanctus Real called "We Need Each Other," and the bridge part that says "I Need you, you Need me, 'cause that's the way, it was meant to be. We Need each other." So true. And it's important that we remember this. Going back to that same article:

Without this defense system, none of us could survive, much less reach maturity. When the immune system becomes weak due to disease, immaturity, or deterioration, death is far more likely from infection or cancer. Medical intervention attempts to keep the immune system intact, but little help can be offered once it collapses.

When we forget to help each other, when this "defense system" God has set in place collapses, things deteriorate. When we forget to help each other, parts of the body (other people) become susceptible to the world's ways. Easily remedied symptoms become irreversible illnesses. God's primary system of spreading love, peace, and the Gospel of Grace is broken down when we forget to help others, or even, to allow ourselves to be helped by others……no matter who they are.

Nate Zaso
Grade School Intern

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