Monday, February 11, 2013

At the Scene of the Crime - The Responsibility of the Believer

In Deuteronomy chapter twenty-one God gives an interesting rule to the children of Israel. He says that if a murder takes place in a field outside of town limits and no one knows who the murderer is, that the men of the surrounding cities were to measure from the crime scene to their cities to determine which town or city is closest and would be held spiritually responsible. Once they had determined which town was to be held responsible in the murder, the elders of that town would bring a young cow and sacrifice it to the Lord at the crime scene washing their hands and declaring the innocence of their city in that murder. In doing so, they were taking spiritual responsibility for and playing a part in dealing with the spiritual fallout of that crime.

Today there are many things that just aren't right. There are crimes (we use this term loosely not legally) that go spiritually unanswered. We acknowledge the fact that there is spiritual fallout when harm is done. From the child that is abandoned or abused, to the elderly person that is neglected or taken advantage of and everything in between God requires us to be there to help with the fallout of these damaging circumstances. It is upon us, those who are closest to the "scene of the crime," that God has laid the responsibility to respond. When evil and wickedness rear their ugly head and do damage in the life of an innocent, it is our duty to step up and help them and those around them deal with the spiritual fallout from that tragedy or damaging circumstance. We have been called, because we are the closest.

Look at the last part of Proverbs 27:10

Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

Back in Deuteronomy 21:9 we read:

 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

It is the solemn duty of those believers that are near to trajedy, heartache, and turmoil to take responsibility in doing what they can to assist with the spiritual fallout of these unimaginable circumstances. It is our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ, offering Scripture, hope, and help for physical need in and after times of distress and difficulty.

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