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by Pastor Steve Boyd, Faith Free Church, Boyceville
As I heard the tragic story of loss when a car went off the road and killed three girl scouts and one of their leaders one thought that came to mind was, well that’s the end of that. There won’t be volunteer groups picking up trash along the freeway anymore; just one more thing we have lost to darkness in our society today. When the newscaster broke professionalism and cried, I wept with her. How should godly people respond to encroaching evil, do we retreat to where it’s safe or do we keep going, and if so how do we find the courage to carry on?
This Sunday (or maybe last Sunday by now) I will be preaching on the life of Isaac from Genesis chapter 26. The Bible is a book of wisdom and faith that can help us get through in troubled times.
Because God had called Isaac’s father Abraham to be a blessing to all people, God called Isaac to live as a nomad in the land of Gerar. There was a famine at the time and it would have been easier for him to live in Egypt for a while, and yet God kept Isaac wandering in a land where he owned nothing. God blessed Isaac with a good harvest and before long his jealous neighbors filled with dirt the wells his father Abraham had dug. Since Isaac was a nomad he moved on and dug more wells. But when his jealous neighbors took those wells, Isaac moved on and kept digging more wells. Eventually, he came to a place where he was left alone and dug a well he named “Shibna” which means “seven”. Unintentionally, he had fulfilled the call of his father Abraham to bless all people by digging six wells for his enemies. No one can live without water. If an enemy plugs our wells, we have to move on and dig more wells. The only path through our grief is to keep on blessing others as we search for a place of peace. Eventually, it comes.
One might say the driver who went off the road was a victim of his own poor choices as well because when people give in to darkness evil takes over. Can he be forgiven? Ultimately, that’s God’s call, not ours. Justice is called for and mercy is needed. Christ died to cover all our brokenness. There’s no place we can go but to the cross for healing and comfort.
I hope the Girl Scouts keep picking up trash along the freeway. Maybe work zone warning lights would be a good idea. They have paid way too much to quit now. Let’s join them. Let’s decide that instead of living safely we will live like the children of Abraham that we are. Let’s live to bless others.