Have you ever been asked the ethics question: Would you steal bread to feed your starving family?
Before I had a family, I was certain I wouldn’t steal, even if my family were starving. Now I’m not so sure anymore. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize I probably already have in some sense of the word. What I mean by that is, as soon as the sentence is slightly altered, I’m pretty sure just about everyone has done it…
Would you ________________ to save your ______________________?
Would you lie to save your job? Would you cheat to save your sanity? Would you cry to save your self from a speeding ticket? There are infinite temptations that could go in the first blank and infinite loves that can go in the second. I always thought I was immune to these kind of ethical dilemmas until I was put in a position to lose something I deeply cared about.
What do you care so deeply about that the threat of losing it might cause you to do something you swore you would never do?
Genesis is FLOODED with accounts that talk about this. (See what I did there? Flood… Noah… Ark… Genesis… get it? “Flooded”!!!!) In all seriousness, almost every chapter details someone whose greatest love was threatened and someone who “stole bread” to save it.
- Abraham would lie to save his self from being killed and his wife taken by another. (Gen. 12:11-13 & 20:2)
- Sarah would let her husband have sex with her servant to save her self from the humility of being childless. (Gen 16:1-2)
- Rebecca would deceive her husband to save her favorite son from getting a lesser inheritance. (Gen. 27:5-10)
- Jacob would go along with this deception to save himself from poverty. (Gen. 27:14-29)
- Rachel would steal her father Laben’s idols to save her family’s future. (Gen. 31:32-25)
Those are just a few. And these are people who KNEW GOD FIRST HAND!!!!!! When I say KNEW GOD, I mean met the guy face to face in most cases!!!!!!!! If even THEY turn to their own devices when the chips are down, what hope do I have of standing firm in my faith today?
Honestly – my answer IS them.
Reading their life accounts and taking the time to understand their humanity even in the face of an Almighty God helps me understand my own humanity in my relationship with the same Almighty God. It reminds me that I am fallible. I am weak. AND I am loved even when I let my fears and devices do what I should have let God do. He will care for me just the same whether I trust him with my loves or not. (But centuries of accounts will tell you that it definitely turns out better when it’s left in God’s hands, rather than man’s.)
The Bible is actually the most relatable book I’ve ever read. It’s full of people who think, talk and act exactly like we do today. The times have changed, but we haven’t. They made the SAME STINKING MISTAKES we do today. They had the SAME RIDICULOUS ARGUMENTS we do today.
They were loved by the SAME AWESOME GOD that we are today in faithful times and fearful times alike.
So, the next time I’m tempted to ___________ to save my _____________, I’m going to pause and remember the people that came before me who made the same mistakes I’m considering… and trust God instead of my own devices.
God’s got my blanks covered.
Dear Lord, I’m such a spaz. I don’t know why I think I can make the same mistakes that the people in the Bible made and that my situations will turn out better than theirs did. Keep me from letting my love for people and things get between my love for you. You gave me all that I have and I can trust that your ways of filling in the blanks are waaaaaay better than mine. Amen.
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