Article 37 : Thoughts from the cross trainer - EQUAL SHARES
We’ve probably all heard recently, in reference to the roll–out of the Covid vaccine. “NO ONE is safe till EVERYONE’S safe!” Meaning that we need to see not only everyone in our own country made safer by receiving the vaccine but, also, everyone throughout the whole world – especially, those in the less well–developed areas of the world where, perhaps, the health infrastructures are less developed, or even non–existent, and there’s an inability to pay for vaccine.
We can’t just selfishly bury our heads in the sand and think it’s someone else’s problem. This pandemic is a global problem!
All of this reminded me of something I’ve just been reading in Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, about Moses apportioning the inheritances of the various Israelite tribes, as they were about to cross over the River Jordan and enter the Promised Land.
And, also, in the book of Joshua it records that the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh were allocated land by Moses on the eastern side of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (Joshua 13:15–23). They were NOT going to have to cross the river to get their inheritance on the other side.
Well, you might be saying to yourself, “What does that have to do with ‘the price of fish’?” Let me explain. In Deuteronomy 3:18–20 we read:
18 Then I commanded you at that time, saying: ‘The Lord your God has given you this land to possess. All you men of valour shall cross over armed before your brethren, the children of Israel. 19 But your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall stay in your cities which I have given you, 20 until the Lord has given rest to your brethren as to you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.
We see here that God is saying to these 2 and a half tribes that you’re not safely in possession of YOUR land until your fighting men cross the Jordan with the rest of the Israelites and TOGETHER you fight the enemies now occupying the land and help them too to possess their inheritance. The Lord is reminding us again that He’s the God of the individual but also of the community, the region and the nation!
I’m so grateful for the way our Pastors and leadership team are setting things up for us as ‘Bethshan Community’ – we’re so blessed! We have our website with so many resources, the App, the prayer meetings, Bible studies, coffee time, prayer ministry, worship sessions, children’s ministry, missional community/small group Zoom times, where we can all connect with each other. There are so many ways in which we can still very much feel part of, and proactively involved in, something bigger than our Lockdown Life!
The Lord has gifted us ALL with talents and gifts to share to encourage, care for and build each other up … and don’t we all appreciate those committed, lovely folk who are playing their part by working behind the scenes to make it all happen too!
Just like the Israelites all had to join together to face their enemies and fight for their inheritance, so we too are facing this Covid enemy together in what even feels like a stronger way than ever. I’m sure we’ll be taking a lot of things that we’re learning through this season into the next, when things start to open up again and we get back to what looks like more ‘normal’.
This also reminded me of the account in 1 Samuel Chapter 30, where David and his men return to their camp at Ziklag, only to find that their enemies, the Amalakites, had attacked it, burned it and captured all their families and livestock. After a time of mourning, David ‘found strength in the Lord his God’. He consulted Him and was told to pursue the enemy and retrieve all that had been stolen. So, we read next that:
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
After a fierce battle that lasted from one evening through the night to the next evening we read:
“David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken.”
When they returned to the 200 men who’d been too exhausted to continue and had been left behind guarding their supplies, some of those who’d fought did not want to share the plunder with them. But this is what David told them:
23 No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike. David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.
God CARES that the WHOLE community shares in the blessings.
We’re not to live selfishly but look to the good of EVERYONE – whether WE think they deserve it or not. Remember how the Lord said the River was breaking its banks and it would go to places we didn’t expect or even didn't want!!
His ways truly are not ours!