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No Fooling
© 01.17.09 By D. Eric Williams

In Jeremiah chapter seven it says:

For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. (Jeremiah 7:5-7)

A basic component of the character of God is his concern for the week, the helpless and vulnerable. In the Bible this category of people is often represented by "the widow, the orphan and the stranger." Right near the end of the reign of the Judean kings in Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah said that one of the things that needed to be fixed in order to forestall the judgement of God against the Jews was a cessation of tyranny. An end to the oppression of the weak and the vulnerable. Their actions were "legal" in that they took place within the duly constituted court of the land. But that didn't mean that their behavior was moral.

God is concerned with the welfare of the truly helpless. He watches over those who are vulnerable. This isn't a guarantee that they will experience immediate supernatural superintendence in this realm which keeps them from all harm. They very well might be persecuted even unto death in this world. Indeed, as we see in the book of Jeremiah, in Israel there was an active persecution of the helpless and this led to God's judgment against Judah. The stranger, the widow, the fatherless - anyone who was without power to resist was fair game for those who were stronger then they.

The requirement to treat "the stranger, the orphan and the widow" with care was codified in God's law. God commanded his people to express his character by showing compassion to the vulnerable. This is not to say that there is a specific civil penalty listed in the law for failure to do so. Instead, punishment for oppressing the weak was a reserved to Yahweh himself:

You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:21-24)

It was not the state that would bring judgement for mistreating the weak and helpless; it was God himself. Indeed, it is oppression at the hands of the state - or the body politic - that is in view here in the passage from Jeremiah and the verses from the book of Exodus. The selection from Exodus is found amongst a catalogue of civil case law and instructions to judges. The point is: the state must not ignore those who have no one to stand up for them; the body politic must not ignore those with "no voice."

The stranger, the fatherless and the widow were supposed to enjoy the same protection under the law as anyone else who lived in Israel. However, the reality is that unless men submit to God there is no incentive for protecting the helpless. There is no reward. Indeed, exploitation of the weak is typically a means to gain. The gain may be monetary or it may be a matter of increased power. The monetary gain might be realized in the confiscation of the property of those without a voice. Political power is increased when favors are bestowed upon a certain segment of the population at the expense of the helpless or through subjugating a portion of the population under the guise of serving the less fortunate among us. In any case, the temptation to exploit the weak for the sake of personal or political gain has always been immense and is only held in check by the recognition that it is not the state but God who determines what is right and what is wrong.

Therefore, a proper treatment of the lowly is dependent upon faith and a relationship with Yahweh rather than the strong arm of the state.

When God is ignored or denied there no longer remains a compelling reason to show true compassion to the weak and vulnerable. In our day and age the state presents itself as the locus of compassion. Yet, the compassion of the state is fickle and is not true pathos but is manipulation. Because God is ignored or denied outright in our society the state becomes God. As R. J. Rushdoony says this is true because "the highest point of power in any system becomes the God of that system" (Rushdoony, Politics of Guilt and Pity, 313). In modern America the highest point of power is the (so called), collective will of the people as represented in the state. In this way it is no longer God who determines right and wrong but those who interpret the "will of the people."

Rushdoony has also mentioned that power allies itself with power. Because power is the ultimate goal of the godless state, right and wrong are continually adjusted in order to clear the path to greater power. Sometimes "right and wrong" are used to pacify the masses, allowing the state to accumulate greater control; bread and circuses to soften the sting of liberty lost; and immorality redefined as morality to further undermine the basic government of self-control. Ultimately the goal of the godless state is to weaken the individual and the family - and the Church - in order to secure its position as the fundamental and unchallenged authority in this realm. Since an alliance or affinity with the weak will not advance the goal of greater power, the helpless are nothing more than pawns to be used or discarded as the quest for power may dictate. Thus, the state gnaws away at liberty and we are increasingly subject to the tyranny of the body politic while true compassion is buried beneath the pursuit of power.

The point is this: with God out of the picture the state is free to determine right and wrong. With God out of the picture the state is free to decide what is compassion and what is not. As we know, the state is often quite fickle and its definition of compassion fluid. Therefore, the body politic cultivates dependence upon the civil government - the slavery of welfare - and defines it as compassion even though it destroys individual dignity and self-reliance. Likewise, the state has declared that it is compassionate to allow a woman to kill her baby if that baby threatens the personal peace and comfort of his mother.

When God does not exist there is no standard of measure by which mankind might determine right and wrong. When God does not exist the state becomes the arbiter of good and evil and its definition of right and wrong is continually in flux.

As Christians we cannot allow the accumulation of power by the state to go unchecked. God has determined that authority must be shared by a variety of institutions in this realm. Last week we considered how the messianic reign is expressed in this world through prophetic, priestly and kingly activities Each of these three correspond to one of the primary institutions established by God. The demonstration of the Messiah's rule as prophet is best expressed in his corporate body the Church. Jesus' authority as priest is best demonstrated in the family. Christ's reign as king is particularly relevant to the individual sphere of influence and revealed best in the individual's participation in the public arena. None of these three are sovereign over the others. Sovereignty resides in Christ alone. However, the godless state attempts to gather unto itself these separate expressions of authority. Even while denying the sovereignty of God the state mimics Christ and declares itself to be the ultimate authority in the universe with the privilege of appointing its own representatives to express the prophetic, priestly and kingly functions of the all powerful state.

We have grown used to the omnipresent and omnipotent state in this 21st century. We hardly recognize the abuse of power because it has become so familiar. Too few of us understand the proper position of the family and the church in society. Too many of us take for granted the state's usurpation of familial and ecclesiastical authority. It is time to stand up and be counted. It is time to be bold for truth.

Thus; our text for today's sermon is found in Proverbs 24:10–12. Let me read to you my own rendering of this passage:

(10) You faint in the day of adversity; small is your strength (11) if you hold back from rescuing those seized for death & slipping to slaughter, (12) as saying, ‘Look, we didn't know!' The Ponderer of hearts considers; the Watchman of souls, He knows. He turns back upon man according to his work. (Proverbs 24:10-12)

Although some theologians would have us to believe so, there is no evidence that this passage is referring to an indifference toward those who are condemned to death for criminal acts. The only way we can come to that conclusion is to ignore the rest of Scripture. We have touched on just a few of the passages in the Bible which reveal to us God's heart for the downtrodden. In our reading from Malachi and our reading from James for instance, we are given a sample of God's eternal concern in regards to the weak and vulnerable. Thus, to suggest that this passage in Proverbs is in any way occupied with the plight of condemned criminals is to willfully ignore the heart of God. God does not desire his people to stand in the way of the state when the civil government is fulfilling its legitimate duty of bearing the sword. Instead, God is calling us to resist state tyranny directed toward the helpless.

Depending on which translation you use, you may see that verse 10 is presented as one idea and verses 11 and 12 combined to convey something altogether different. However, I believe that 10, 11 and 12 should be understood as a whole because what we see here is dismay on the part of a person (or people), covered by deceit, yet discerned by God.

This passage begins (24:10), by addressing those who are dismayed in a day of adversity. The Hebrew says that they faint under the pressure of hardship. Once again, in context with the rest of the Bible we should understand that this is concerning the pressure brought to bear by the powers that be when they desire to exercise their tyranny over those who have no way to resist. The Scripture says that when this happens there is a certain class of people who are dismayed and faint.

It would seem that these people who quail in the face of oppressive power consider themselves of some reputation. Verse 10 begins a statement: "you faint in a day of adversity." It's a statement of fact. You can almost imagine someone who is observing the scene and suddenly coming to this realization that these people who claim to be "somebody" or who claim to be sophisticated or on "the inside" - he sees this going on and it strikes him as a revelation: you faint in a day of adversity. This mystery observer bases this conclusion on the obvious facts he finds before him. "Small is your strength if you hold back from rescuing those seized for death and slipping to the slaughter."

Most translations presented verse 11 as a command. Without an apparent relationship to verse 10. Most translations suddenly issue a command: to deliver those drawn toward death and to hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. However, our mystery observer has it right. He sees what is happening and continues to describe those whom he observes. There is a situation unfolding before them that they should take care of but they don't and so the mystery observer claims that their strength is small because they hold back from rescuing someone who is in need of help.

Many translations use the "hold back" word (which is chasak in the Hebrew, meaning hold back, restrain, refrain), to described what a person should do. They should "hold back" people who are slipping to slaughter. However I think the better understanding is a description of what the person actually does. They are not holding anyone back from slaughter; they are holding back from getting involved. They refrain from intervening when they should jump right into the middle of things and do something to stop the slaughter.

So these people who are dismayed reveal their weakness because they refrain from rescuing those who are being dragged to death and slaughter. The implication is that those who are drawn away to their death are innocent. Once again, there is nothing in Scripture that directs us to interfere with the just activities of the state. On the other hand we have the obligation - according to this passage in Proverbs along with many, many others in the Bible - to do something about the oppression of the weak and vulnerable.

There is nothing positive about this description. These are people who apparently like to be known as being a cut above the rest of the crowd. However our mystery observer suddenly recognizes that the emperor has no clothes. These people are just a bunch of talk. When there is a need for action they shrink back. When there is a need for someone to intervene these folks are nowhere to be found. The need is clear. These oppressed ones are seized for death and are slipping to slaughter. It's not a voluntary act. They may have been tricked into this but in the final analysis it is a matter of people who are forced to death and slaughter.

What exactly is it that they are seized for? Well, as in much of scripture, the Proverbs will sometimes use hyperbole to drive a point home. Thus, the timidity exhibited by those who are dismayed in the day of adversity might be over a seemingly inconsequential circumstance. Maybe no one's life is at stake. Maybe the people involved have made the decision to do these things on their own. Maybe they failed in hard times because of our own foolishness. We don't have the details as to why these weak and vulnerable folk are being dragged off. But the implication is that they are innocent of any behavior that would warrant this kind of treatment. These are people who have no advocate and it is those kinds of people whom God is especially concerned with.

Indeed that class of person is a metaphor for all of mankind. None of us have an advocate who may intercede for us before the throne of God. All of mankind is weak and helpless and subject to the oppression of the Devil. Every man, woman and child is to be seized for death and is slipping off to slaughter - even now. However, if our mystery watcher were on the scene he would suddenly encounter the Christ; he is not dismayed. He does not faint in the day of adversity. No, he is our advocate. He saves us. He pleads our case before the judge of all the earth. He gives voice to the weak and the helpless.

And we are supposed to emulate the concern of God and his Christ. Unfortunately our mystery watcher has happened upon some folks who do not imitate the Lord. They faint. Their strength is small. They hold back from rescuing the helpless. They decline the duty to be a voice for those who have no advocate.

Later this week we will observe the anniversary of the infamous Roe V. Wade decision. In the last 36 years or so millions of babies have been seized for death. Millions of women have slipped away to slaughter. No doubt, millions of women have made the "choice" to have an abortion. However, just as many have been seized for death and compelled to slip away to the slaughter. I'm not trying to say that a woman who has an abortion is without guilt; but there is no doubt in my mind that many women (especially young girls), who have an abortion are coerced into the decision. Often times they are given faulty information or perhaps no real information at all.

Likewise, many times we faint in the day of adversity. Far too often our weakness is revealed because we hold back from rescuing those who have been seized for death - those who are slipping to slaughter. You see, we have a responsibility to rescue not only the unborn child but also the woman who is seeking to destroy her own baby. We have the duty to emulate Christ. Yet, we are dismayed in the day of hardship because our strength is quite small.

There are a number of things we can do in the day of adversity - in a day in which the tyrannical state supports - indeed promotes the slaughter of the unborn. What we can do will vary from one person to the next. The point is we cannot hold back . We must do what we can to rescue those who are seized for death and slipping the slaughter.

Now, to cover their cowardice those who are dismayed will often turn to deceit.

When these people discover the mystery watcher they try to make excuses. "No" they say "we weren't fainting in the face of hardship. Our strength isn't suspect. We simply were not aware of what was going on." In other words the people in question in our passage claim that they weren't aware of the situation. After all (they may say), it appeared to them that these other folk were doing these things of their own free will. It didn't seem to them that anyone was being seized for death or slipping to the slaughter. Maybe a little rough treatment but it appeared that these were consenting adults, right?

Or in the context of that culture they might say that they thought the orphaned or the widow or the stranger did in fact have someone who would stand as an advocate. You see, the reason the orphan, the widow and the stranger represent that segment of ancient Israelite society which had no advocate is because they did not enjoy visible, known, covenant protection. They did not have a kinsman redeemer. The orphan was without a family; the widow had no husband; and the stranger was not part of any tribe or clan. Therefore, they represent the people in the nation of Israel without a voice.

Thus, the people to whom this is addressed are want to make the claim "look, we didn't know. How are we to know that there was no one to stand as an advocate for these people? How are we to know that these people have no voice?"

Well, in that particular cultural situation it would be pretty easy to tell. When the orphan or the widow or the stranger is denied justice there is a reason for it; they do not have an advocate. When their property is taken away or they are sold into slavery or they are condemned to death (consider Naboth and his sons, 1 Kings 21), it is clear that there is no one to take a stand on their behalf. Moreover, the multitude of warnings in Scripture against the oppression of the weak remind us that this sort of thing was a constant danger. It's not as if it never happened. Therefore the weaklings under consideration in these verses could not honestly say that they didn't recognize oppression when it took place. And so when our mystery watcher confronts these people they reply deceitfully; there really is no difficulty in recognizing their lies.

It is interesting that this claim to ignorance is their only defense. They don't try to justify their behavior in any other way. They don't point to some other standard of morality they just say that they were unaware of the crime.

This confirms the estimation that these folk are members of the community of God - or at least they claim to be. Why is that? Because they are ashamed of their behavior. They try to cover up their sin with an excuse. If they were in agreement with the behavior of the oppressors then there would be no reason for their deceit.

Take a look at Proverbs 16:27-30:

An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good. He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil. (Proverbs 16:27-30)

Here we are taught how to be godly by way of a negative example; the ungodly man - a man of Belial a worthless unprofitable man; a man without a yoke who is not obedient to the law of God - he is not a member of the community of God. He is looking for ways to sin. He looks for faults in others to either defame them or to use that knowledge as leverage to push them toward sin. He spreads rumors - even true morsels concerning failings - with an eye toward stirring up strife and destroying relationships. He is violent in his manners and passions and even physically violent. He seeks to tear down people and to lead others into sin and perversity. A thoroughly bad actor.

And he makes no excuse. His standard of right and wrong is much different than God's. He doesn't lie in an attempt to conceal his behavior because he doesn't see anything wrong with it.

On the other hand, the timid people who are trying to absolve themselves from blame by claiming ignorance do not appeal to a competing standard of right and wrong. They don't relish the opportunity to do evil. They aren't rubbing their hands with glee at the tribulation of the weak and vulnerable. There is no indication that they are hoping to profit from the oppression of those with no voice, no advocate. No, they recognize right from wrong so they have no alternative other than to claim ignorance.

If they were not members of the community of God they could claim to be aware of what was going on and yet still affirm their innocence because the state - or some other higher power - had decreed that it is lawful to oppress the weak. In other words, if they had rejected God's definition of morality then they wouldn't bother to lie and say that they weren't aware of what was happening.

Unfortunately there are many Christians who use the same excuse when it comes to the issue of abortion. There are still Christians (or people who claim to be Christians), who say that they "aren't sure when life begins" - that the question is "above their pay grade." And yet the Bible is unequivocal in stating that life is a gift from God from the moment of conception. For instance see, Job 10:8-12, Psalms 139:14-16 and Romans 9:20-21. Additionally modern science supports this viewpoint. After all, how can anyone suggest that what takes place in a woman's womb when an egg is fertilized and implanted is somehow inhuman. Once again, this sort of argument is simply willful rebellion. It is an attempt to distract people from the truth. There is no excuse for those who claim that they are not sure if a baby in his mother's womb is human or not. There is no alternative. A human baby is human from the moment of conception. A human baby in his or her mother's womb is formed by God and his development is controlled by God from the moment of conception.

It is also deceitful to say that we are not aware of the number of abortions which take place - as if the numbers are inconsequential and thereby a minor problem. It is deceitful to suggest that we are unaware of the number of women who are coerced into having an abortion. Once again, I am not attempting to convince you that those women who have an abortion are innocent. However, the fact remains that a very high percentage of the women who are seeking an abortion change their mind once they have adequate information. That's one reason that it is so important for pro-life pregnancy care centers to have their own sonogram equipment or to have access to the same. My point is simply that we cannot claim we are unaware of the need to do something.

We know that a baby is human from the point of conception onward. We know that there are millions of babies aborted each year. We know that there are thousands of women who would not have an abortion if someone were to come alongside them and offer help. Sometimes that help is simply a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes that help is adequate medical information. In any case we, as Christians, know what the situation is out there and we cannot claim ignorance as a defense for our timidity or sloth.

The chiasmic presentation of this passage is quite interesting.1 If you look at the back of your bulletin you will see the verses in a literal translation followed by a chiasm and then a pairing of the ideas which are found in the chiasm. What is interesting is that God's response to the dismay and deceit of these people can be described as "tit for tat." In other words, if you are faint and weak, then he is faint and weak. If you hold back, then God pays you back. If you say that you didn't know, God knows that you did.

The process begins with God sitting as judge. He ponders each heart and he knows what is in the heart of each man. He weighs each man's heart in the balance and discerns the attitudes and motivation.

In other words he knows the source of their faint hearted weakness. In light of the fact that they are judged worthy of reciprocal treatment there must be something in the balance that tells against them. It isn't as if they have a valid reason for their timidity. The Ponderer of hearts has looked in side and discovered that they held back from rescuing those drawn toward death - not due to any legitimate fear - but because of self interest.

The Bible says that no one knows the heart of a man except the man himself. No one, that is, except God. Thus God always gets to the heart of the matter. God recognizes that man's timidity all too often stems from self-centeredness. Since these people are liable to the judgement of God it must be that their timidity stems from a fear of what others will think of them. Or, they are timid because they are afraid that they might disrupt their own personal peace and comfort. Or perhaps they are part of the oppressing class and they view what is happening as legitimate. In any case, their small strength finds its root in self interest. In other words it doesn't appear that there is an external threat that they should be concerned with.

God knows the heart of the man: he knows the "heart" of a nation as well. I suppose we could say that the heart of a nation is the general will. In Israel the oppression of the orphan, the widow and the stranger could go on because the majority of the population didn't care enough to raise a hue and cry. Certainly they did not have the advantage of representative government that we have today; nonetheless the people could have effected change. They found it within themselves to rebel against an unpopular king a time or two so certainly they could have demanded that the judges and the upper class in Israel reflect the mind of God on this issue. They did not. God, the Ponderer of hearts, knew this. He knew that the people of Israel preferred the evil status quo to the ways of God.

You might be wondering what I mean when I say that if these people are weak then God shows himself as weak toward them. Well, the subjects of our passage held back from rescuing those who were seized for death and slipping to the slaughter; they refrained from interfering. They held back and so God "turns back upon" them the same sort of thing. In other words when they find themselves in a similar fix they may very well find that God turns them over to the consequences. They did not step in to deliver those in need so there will be no one to step in and deliver them when they are in need. It is simply the principle of reaping what you sow. Consider:

Now, in the case of the individual this "turning back upon a man according to his deeds" may show up in this life or it may be reserved for the next. In this life it may be as simple as a man finding himself without friends when he is in need. The Bible says that if a man wants friends then he must show himself friendly. If he expects an advocate when he is oppressed then he should stand as a voice for those who are oppressed. Consider Proverbs 21:13: Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard. It may be that even the oppression will be duplicated. I any case it is a simple matter of reaping what you sow.

This principle is valid for the corporate body as well. We see an example of this in the death throes of Judah as the Babylonians overwhelmed Jerusalem. At the very end, Jehoiakim was reigning in Jerusalem when,

...he [Jehoiakim] did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And the LORD sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the LORD this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the LORD would not pardon. (2 Kings 23:37-24:4)

Jehoiakim knew what was right. And yet he "held back" from doing what he should do. In response, God "turned back" upon him his own behavior. Jehoiakim refused to fulfill his responsibilities under the covenant relationship and so Yahweh refrained from providing the care and protection which was promised in the covenant.

We cannot forget that the covenant promises are conditional. If you go back to the books of Moses you will find that God promised to bless his people if they obeyed his law. When they do not obey he replaces the blessing with cursing. This is a promise as well, a promise of cursing and punishment. Thus we see this side of the covenant sanctions fulfilled at the very end of the Davidic dynasty.

Indeed, the reason given in this passage from 2 Kings is the behavior of Manasseh several generations before the reign of Jehoiakim. This isn't to say that Jehoiakim was somehow innocent. But it reminds us that Manasseh was guilty of the very thing which we have in view in our passage from Proverbs 24. In 2 Kings 21:6 and 16 we read that Manasseh,

made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. ...Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD. (2 Kings 21:6, 16).

In fact, Manasseh did more than simply faint in the day of adversity. He was the one who was producing adversity. He did not reveal his weakness in a failure to rescue those who were seized for death and slipping away to the slaughter; he was the one who seized and slaughtered others. It is no wonder that God brought to Judah and Jerusalem the same sort of bloodletting.

If you look at the history of Israel you will see that this is exactly what happened. Those who had the ability to oppress the vulnerable segment of Jewish society were later oppressed by a more powerful ruler. Indeed, after the final rebellion of the Jews against Babylon, the Jewish nation ceased to exist - for all practical purposes. Moreover, the Jewish king Zedekiah who reigned just after Jehoiakim, committed "evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done." He attempted a rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and was crushed.

So they took [Zedekiah] and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they pronounced judgment on him. Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon. (2 Kings 25:6-7)

The point is that God will render to each man according to his deeds. The principle of reaping and sowing applies to nations and individuals alike. That may play out in this life or in the next. No matter; the principle is irrevocable.

Yet, God does not disinherit his people. Rather, the hardship which the people of God endure is meant for their good. There is a lesson to be learned in hardship. The idea is that if one receives adversity because of his failure to intervene on behalf of another when they faced adversity, then he should learn that the next time he has the opportunity to rescue those who are seized for death and slipping to slaughter - he should do it! In the meantime, God's response to our personal or national timidity ought not surprise us.

And it does no good to claim ignorance. God knows that these people know the truth. He isn't fooled by their claims of ignorance.

Nor can a nation claim to be ignorant when the weak and vulnerable are seized for death and slipped away for slaughter.

There is no fooling the Ponderer of hearts.

Do we faint in the face of adversity? Is our strength revealed as small because of our failure to rescue those who are seized for death and slipping away to slaughter? Specifically, are we fainting and weak when it comes to the issue of protecting the unborn? Are we to blame - at least in part - for the death of millions of unborn babies?

I am not an advocate of violence in an effort to stop the slaughter of the unborn. I don't think we should bomb abortion clinics nor do I think we should physically prevent women who are seeking an abortion from entering a clinic or doctors office. Anarchy is not godly and it is not an effective weapon against state sponsored murder. However, there are many things we can do. And each one of us is responsible to do that which is within our capability.

There is a brother in the Lord who we all know who wrote a letter to the editor just before the recent election. In that letter he urged fellow Christians - specifically our Roman Catholic neighbors - to vote pro-life. It was an excellent, heart felt letter. That's something that was within his capability. I don't think God expects that brother to go to Boise for the pro-life march on January 24 of this year; his personal situation won't allow for that. But he can write letters and a failure to have done so would have been fainting in the face of adversity.

There are things that each of us can do. Everyone of us can write letters to the editor. All of us can write to our congressmen and senators. Most of us can participate in the fund-raising events for the local pregnancy care centers. The list could go on; the majority of the activities open to us in the fight for life cost us little more than our time and convenience.

Which brings me to the primary reason that we 21st century American Christians faint in the face of adversity: apathy. We don't really care that much. In the end we may find that our indifference is far more costly than any inconvenience we might suffer on behalf of the unborn. We may find that - as individuals and as a nation - God has determined that it is time to turn back upon us according to our deeds.

I challenge to do everything you can to rescue those who are seized for death, to rescue those who are slipping away to the slaughter. Indeed, allow me to offer a suggestion as to where you might start. This week is the anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision which legalized the murder of the unborn. It would be an excellent time to write to your senators and congressman and encourage them to , first, stand firm against any legislation that further threatens the life of the unborn and second, to introduce legislation that protects the unborn. Beyond that I encourage you to contact the local pregnancy care center to see what you can do to help.

We have no excuse for doing nothing. There is no defense we may offer the Ponderer of hearts. No fooling.


A. You faint in a day of adversity. Small is your strength
   B. if you hold back from rescuing those seized for death & slipping to slaughter,
      C. saying, ‘Look, we didn't know!'
         D. The Ponderer of hearts considers;
      C. the Watchman of souls, He knows.
   B. He turns back upon man,
A. according to his work.

A. If you are faint and weak,
A. He is faint and weak
   B. If you hold back,
   B. He pays you back
      C. If you say you didn't know,
      C. He knows you did
         D. The Ponderer of hearts is discerning

1. Dismay
2. Deceit
3. Discernment

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