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.
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Very well said! I pray that all of us will go back to the end of the line instead of trying to always be in the front. It is the “stragglers” that need help the most, especially those who are straggling away from God instead of closer to Him. I am blessed to be able to do what I can to help those in poverty, not because I want man’s approval, but because I know it is what God wants and I do it out of love, not expediency or because I have to. I do it because I want to and because I too love all of God’s family. Blessings to all those involved with Compassion International and other ministries that help the “stragglers” of this world.
Thanks for your honesty Dave. I agree that it’s hard and messy and no fun and sometimes I don’t want to be bothered. I have suffered from that judgmental attitude myself and also need to join Jesus at the back of the line. I appreciate your being open with your struggle.
Great observation. Isaiah 58:8 says exactly that; “the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”. Amen!!
Thanks for this post!
I like tidy. I enjoy the non-messy. Thanks for the kick to do more. I linked from my blog to this post today. Good stuff.
I wish that everyone in the US would read this. It seems that whenever there is a problem the poor and the immigrants are the first ones to receive the blame. The judgements against them are harsh.