If you faint in a crisis, you are weak.
Rescue captives condemned to death,
and spare those staggering toward their slaughter.
When you say, “We didn’t know this,”
won’t the one who weighs hearts take note of it?
Won’t the one who guards your soul know it?
Won’t he pay back people for what they do? (Proverbs 24:10-12 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 24:1-22 GW)
A myriad of cliches are tossed about when difficult times comes.
There’s the famous British saying—Keep Calm and Carry (or Chive) On. How about the classic American expression—When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
But when a crisis hits, especially a life-threatening one, cliches are like chaff in the wind. They have no substance nor weight. Action not words is needed.
People of character rise to the occasion in a crisis. They’re able to meet challenges beyond their control because they don’t trust in circumstances. Their trust is anchored much deeper.
Those who are strong in character and within times of crisis are not centered on themselves. They don’t trust in themselves. Their world is larger than themselves.
Looking beyond ourselves
When our life and world revolve around our self, it leaves us unprepared to handle the change and interruption of a crisis—whether small or great.
Also, a self-absorbed and self-focused life insulates a person from others. This breeds an unhealthy isolation. It also pushes a person towards indifference—an apathetic attitude toward others.
Left unchecked, indifference leads to a hardness of heart. Everyone of us needs to guard against indifference and hardness in our hearts—it can keep us from fainting in times of crisis.
Those who don’t faint in a crisis are those who have more concern for others than themselves. Looking at verses 11-12 reminds us the world is much larger than us. As is often said, “It’s not about you!”
More than that, each of us are responsible to be considerate and caring for others—to show mercy and grace towards people we encounter in daily life.
Coming to the rescue
When we get our eyes off ourselves and become aware of the needs and challenges other people face, it helps put our own concerns into perspective. When I think of rescuing captives (verse 11), it brings many people into view with vastly greater needs than my own.
Many women and children are trapped in the inescapable maze of human trafficking. Unless we or others intervene, they are condemned to a living hell—even death at the hands of merciless captors. It’s not just a global problem but a much more local one.
They need mercy. They need rescue.
Millions of people suffer under oppressive and repressive governments or now live as refugees who fled savage warfare into an indefinite life stranded between danger and uncertainty. Their plight is through no fault of their own and is beyond their control or power.
They need a hand of grace extended to them. They’re crying out for mercy.
Thousands of people are trapped in addiction or in bondage to something too powerful for them to overcome on their own. They need merciful and gracious intervention—just as the Lord showed us.
Be merciful as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36 GW)
If we say, “We didn’t know this,” or “It’s not my problem…I’ve got my own problems”—we aren’t excused. We can’t just look the other way.
This is the heart of what Jesus spoke of in His Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 5:3-9) and Sermon on the Plain (in Luke 6:27-37).
Those of us who are Christian believers—who trust in the Lord Jesus as our Savior—we are called to be like Him in relationship to people we encounter in life and as we become aware of the needs of others.
We are to be salt and light in the world (Matt 5:13-16), an extension of His heart of compassion, grace, and love to those around us.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Psalm 103:8)
When we get our eyes off ourselves and become aware of the needs and challenges other people face, it helps put our own concerns into perspective. Each of us are responsible to be considerate and caring for others—to show mercy and grace towards people we encounter in daily life.
When you find yourself wrapped up in your own concerns or worries, ask God to help you look beyond yourself. Ask the Lord to fill you with His compassion and love—His mercy and grace—towards people in your circle of life and beyond.
If you’d like to help extend mercy and grace—
To help those trapped as victims of human trafficking— here are 4 organizations to consider—
To help people under oppressive and repressive regimes, as well as refugees—you can contact my friend Mike Parks with Global Hope Network Intl. or click on these links—Refugee Families in Lebanon / in Iraq
Would you like a free study guide for Proverbs?