Thursday Thoughts.

I don’t have much of an introduction other than I’m so tired of watching people hurt other people. I’m so tired of opinions and weak convictions. I’m so exhausted by the news and the pain I see.

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I’m sure many of you can relate. Thank you Shia.

I stumbled on such a powerful story in the Bible- OT- I knowww! And I just wanted to share it with you guys. Because, I almost forgot it was there!

Simple, basic background story… Israel was split in two: the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. Technically, Northern Israel rebelled and split. So, at the time, you had Northern Israel and Southern Judah. The same people- split up- rivaling for years.

Flash forward, Israel wound up attacking Judah (a part of the Syro-Ephraim war) and captured 200,000 captives- men, women, sons, daughters. Plus, they snagged a wholllleeee lot of booty (💰💰)  too.

But the prophet, Oded, clashes with their victory and says- “yes, you were allowed to defeat Judah, but you have gone toooo far. Killing without mercy? All of heaven is disturbed. Now you’re planning to make them slaves?!” Basically- he’s like…. nahhhh. He continues to tell Israel to return the prisoners- for they are your OWN RELATIVES. Watch out, because God isn’t happy with how you handled the situation- choose wisely. (Gina Translation. But you can find this in 2 Chronicles 28)

What happens next? Some of the leaders (4 listed) confront the men who were returning from battle and told them not to bring the prisoners here. What did they do? This is my favorite part. Read carefully.

The warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of all leaders and all people. 

“Then the four men… came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear,

gave them enough food and drink,

and dressed their wounds with olive oil.

They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho.”

What a picture of a repentant heart. What a story of response.

They clothed the naked. Fed the hungry. Bound up wounds. Took care of the weak. Sounds a lot like… Matthew 25:36 “I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Sounds a lot like a few more scriptures I can think of.

Instead of fighting our brothers and sisters, because that is what we all are, shouldn’t we be doing the opposite? Granted some people won’t want the help or care or concern- OK. But that shouldn’t stop us from continually doing the RIGHT thing. Or, should I say, the Godly thing. Because if we don’t, we might miss the person who needs it.

God cares for his creation. Us. He cares about us.

God expects us to take care of his creation, too. To take care of one another. Many times we forget that we are fighting our own brothers and sisters.

Find the need and meet it. May your words be healing oil. Take a stand for those who cannot. Make sure that you’re perfect before you criticize the imperfection of someone else (I think someone said that in a sermon this past week.. 😉).

As you go throughout your days, look for the opportunities to be a hope and not a hurt.

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