Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why are you staring at one another?





Scripture

Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?”
(Genesis 42:1 NASB)
Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning.
(Psalms 5:1 NASB)
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.
(Psalms 5:2 NASB)

Observation

Jacob and his family were starving for the famine had already become severe in the land. There was nothing left to eat and yet, no one was doing anything. Jacob chided his sons and asked them why they were just sitting around and staring at one another. They didn't seem to know what to do. The Psalmist reminds us that we are to bring our needs and concerns before the Lord. He will consider our groaning and heed our cry for help, if only we'd stop staring at one another!

Application

There is a call to action found in these verses today. How often do we end up in difficult circumstances of life and respond by staring at one another? We are immobilized by fear and therefore we take no action but remain in dire circumstances. God does not intend for us to be people of inaction, but rather, people of action. We are created in his image, and he is a God of action. God, in his action reaches out to all of humanity and through his grace draws us closer to him. He is desiring that we draw nearer to him in all things, including dire situations. Therefore, our first response should always be to seek him. Things are tough, we're not sure what to do -- seek him! As we spend time in his presence, he draws us ever nearer to him, and as we draw closer to him, he presents us with a plan of action. No longer must we sit around and stare at one another, but we get up and we get going! There is a solution to your problem, and you are a part of that solution.

It seems that these days too much time is spent sitting around and staring at one another and waiting for God to magically intervene. Isn't that what a sovereign God should do -- just jump in and make a difference? If that's what we're waiting for, we just don't get it. We are to be God's people of action in a hurt and dying world. What do we do about the needs that confront us on a daily basis? Recently as we were entering a building a woman came running across the parking lot shouting at us, and asking us for help. She could barely get the words out because of a speech impediment, but also because it was obvious that she had been drinking heavily. She had a baby at home and needed diapers and a few other things, could we give her some money? We learned from our Russia days that when people asked for bread, we went and bought them bread, but never gave them money, because the money would be used to buy more alcohol. We said we'd buy her some diapers so we turned and went the other direction and found a store where we could buy some baby items, as well as food. After shopping, we drove her home. Did we make a difference in her life? I don't know, but all along the way I kept praying that God would give us wisdom to know what to do. I don't want to be a person of inaction, but rather, a person of action, bringing about a little taste of the kingdom of God to those who may not have had a chance to experience Jesus. Over and over the verse came to my mind..."When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?"

We must stop staring at each other, and be God's people of action in a desperate and dying world. May we begin by being active in our prayer lives, and then go out and touch our world in the power of God's holy spirit.

Prayer

Lord, my heart breaks over what I see around me. Please, help me to touch my world for you. Amen.

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