“The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (22:29-30)
The sins of Israel are many. The sword against them is sharpened, polished and ready.
Many times throughout Israel’s treacherous history, there has been someone, like Moses, to intercede on their behalf. “Please, LORD, don’t kill them, even though they totally deserve it.” Now there is no one. Time is up. Like He says in 14:12-20, even if Noah, Daniel or Job were here, it would still be game over.
Now we have Christ, interceding for us before the Father, but there will still be a day when we must account for what we each did with the grace and patience of God.
Did we use it for our own selfish gain, for status and dominance over others? Did we rob anyone of possession, dignity or opportunity? Did we treat foreigners as though they were beneath us?
There is a fine balance between our right standing before God being by His own power–not by our works–and being selfish with our religion. He says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)
See also Matthew 25:31-46.
How we treat others is directly correlated with how we understand the grace and love of God. As Paul says:
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)
I don’t want history to repeat itself in me. I don’t want to presume upon the glorious benefits of being a Child of God. From the beginning, He sought to bless His people so they could bless others. I want to bless, and advocate for others, as I have been blessed and advocated for.
How can we prioritize the interests of others today?