I've been all over the place in my Bible today, not really feeling like I was where I was supposed to be. I stumbled upon a blog this afternoon, where the header was Proverbs 24:12. I backed up one verse in my Bible.
Proverbs 24:11, 12 - Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back. If you say "See, we did not know this," does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
My footnote reads: "The excuse of ignorance is not acceptable."
I keep going back to James 1:27 - Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress...
Pure religion. Not legalistic or works-based. Pure. How can I ignore that? And so began my study for the evening.
Romans 2:13 - For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. (emphasis mine)
Galatians 3:11 - Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for "the righteous man shall live by faith". (referencing Habakkuk 2:4)
Hebrews 10:38 - But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
Okay, God, I really want you to take pleasure in me. I mean, I'm fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). By You. To bring glory to You. How can my goal be to do any less than that? Sure, I'm human, I make mistakes, and I'm so far from perfect I don't even register on the scale. But if shrinking back from living out Your plan brings you displeasure... wow. Talk about fear of the Lord.
So, on the subject of judgement...
Matthew 25:34-40 - 34 "The the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" (emphasis mine)
Oh, my heart is aching. My mind has been full of thoughts of "the least of them" for some time now. Even in my sleep, they're there. My husband asks me several times a day why I'm so quiet, and it's because their sweet faces are there. The little ones who are hungry, thirsty, naked, in prison.