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Are You at the End of the Line?

back of the line To me, Deuteronomy 25:17-18 is a beautiful picture of the heart of God. He is concerned about those at the end of the line. He is a defender of the tired and weary, the straggler who cannot keep up.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary, and he did not fear God.” — Deuteronomy 25:17-18 (NKJV)

These verses remind me of Jacob, when he and his estranged brother, Esau, met and reconciled. Esau encouraged his brother to journey on with him, but Jacob was concerned about the weak.

“But Jacob said to him, ‘My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die.'” — Genesis 33:13 (NKJV)

God’s eye is always to have mercy on the weak, those who cannot make it on their own. Too often my attitude has been one of judgment. “They should try harder, work more, be more responsible.” Really, my judgmental attitude is nothing more than an excuse to ignore them, to not be bothered.

Taking care of the weak is hard and messy. Often it doesn’t end with a tidy conclusion like a television sit-com. In many cases, there is a reason the weak are in a bad situation, and getting down in the pit with them is no fun.

But if I’m going to follow the Jesus I claim to serve, I don’t have a choice. I’m going to have to stop judging and stop ignoring. I’m going to have to allow God to change my heart so I can love the weak, defend the helpless, and have mercy for others … just like He does.

Jesus is at the back of the line. Maybe it’s time I stop trying to be in front.