Thursday, February 11, 2016
Rizpah, fighting the vultures, part III
So, yesterday we talked about keeping the vultures of drugs and alcohol away from our loved ones, and also the scavenger beast of immorality . . . these are lessons for Christian women -- we don't have to be moms or grandmoms, though many of our readers are. You can be looking out for a sibling, or for a friend, or for a younger Christian. We need to keep the vultures away from all those that we love!
There's another vulture that lurks and tries to harm our loved ones; it's the vulture of a materialistic life. We need to remind our special people that we appreciate what we have. And that we realize the things that we have do NOT determine who we are! Some people in this world always gaze at what other folks have; they dream of having what their neighbors have, or of having something bigger and better. Those of us who are parents probably hear (heard) a lot about the jeans that everyone else is wearing, and the awesome shoes that they must have or they'll die, or perhaps the overwhelming need to have a car instead of being dropped off at school by mom or dad each morning. Oy. When the money isn't there for these things, it becomes a little easier to say "No." When you do have the money, but it isn't earmarked for designer jeans or spiffy shoes, it gets a little harder. If there are any moms reading this, I want you to know something: It's healthy to say no!
Perhaps we CAN buy what they want. But is it the best thing for them? Perhaps we want to pick up two or three pairs of jeans that will see them through the school year, instead of one pair of designer jeans. Or perhaps we are trying to be examples for our kids and families: we are using up and making do with what we have, and it's good for them to learn those skills, too. Too much consumption is not good. It spoils kids, and it spoils adults. We are primed to consume by the media that bombards us daily with images of people who seem so happy -- because they purchased something. Our loved ones may resent our decisions, or our guidance, in the short run, but in the end, good sense will win out. Let's keep the vulture of materialism away.
The last beast we need to keep away from our children, families, and friends we hold dear, is the beast of a godless life. That same media that pumps us full of I-want-to-go-shop adrenaline is also bombarding us with the messages that God is irrelevant, unnecessary, and uninterested in our lives. We even hear messages daily that all faiths are the same, even though they may teach their followers completely different (even contradictory) truths.
If we allow this beast to face our loved ones, and we approve the message that "all faiths are the same" then we are really saying "faith is nonsense." If we say that Religion A and Religion B are the same, even though their core beliefs are at the opposite ends of the pendulum swing, then we are saying faith is just nonsense. We must guard our loved ones from man-made religions. We can do this best by introducing them to the true and living God of our Bibles. By demonstrating our faith by being open about our prayer life. By letting them see us spending time reading His Word. By being involved (and bringing them along) in a Bible believing church filled with concerned and accountable believers. And by putting that hedge of protection that we talked about recently, around those that we love and care about.
Day after day, night after night, Rizpah kept at her task. I'll just bet that there were days (and nights) when she was tired. Burning with sunburn, or perhaps a fever because she was sick. But she kept at it. Are we as diligent in the battle for the souls of our children? Are we as concerned about the salvation of our grandchildren? Do we yearn for our friends to be saved, and then do we battle to grow them in the Lord? Do we surround our younger Christian friends in prayer?
Or do we only get going when there is a crisis? I'm talking just as much to myself here, as to anyone else. We all let our guards down sometimes. Then a crisis hits, and we suddenly find it important to persevere in prayer. Let's choose to be Rizpahs in our world. Let's diligently pray and counsel those that we love. Keep the vultures and the beasts away from them. Let's refuse to surrender, to go the easy route; it is SO worth the effort! We are fighting for the souls, and for their happiness.
You and I may never make it to the headlines. We might live lives that many people think are uneventful. But we can live the most fruitful lives of all if we spend our energies doing our duty to God by caring for our loved ones like modern-day Rizpahs. Teach them to face down the vultures; to avoid drugs, alcohol, immorality, materialism, and godlessness. Teach them to know and love God, and best of all, to serve Him. Teach them to show consideration for others and how to be gentle but strong.
Keep up the good work, Christian women! Fight off those vultures!