Not Alone

Not Alone

The tribe of Benjamin, however, failed to drive out…
The tribe of Manasseh failed to drive out…
 The tribe of Ephraim failed to drive out…
The tribe of Zebulun failed to drive out…
The tribe of Asher failed to drive out…
Likewise, the tribe of Naphtali failed to drive out…
As for the tribe of Dan,
the Amorites forced them back into the hill country and would not let them come down into the plains. (Judges 1:21-34)

Read: Judges 1:1 – 2:9, Luke 21:29 – 22:13, Psalm 90:1 – 91:16, Proverbs 13:24-25

Relate: I do not smoke, but I used to work with a bunch of smokers and I would often join them outside when they went on a smoke break. I figured there was no point in suspending a running conversation for 5-10 minutes and it is an opportunity to see people when they let their walls down a bit. At least half the time, as soon as the other person would light up, they would say one of two things: “I’m sorry” or some version of “I’m cutting back/I can quit anytime I want.” I do not have to say a word. I don’t have to tell them how wrong what they are doing is. My choice to be with them yet still refuse to participate in their addiction sends two strong messages that would be spoiled by words.

In my mind, however, as soon as they use their version of the quitting line, I respond, “No you can’t.” If they could quit any time they wanted to, they would have. Their rationalization to me just shows that they know what they are doing is wrong. They know how  much money gets flushed down the toilet to support a habit that is killing them. If they really could quit they would. It is just that some things cannot be done alone.

The Israelites had the same problem. They did not want to be forced to live in the hills. They did not want their enemies to still control the best lands and the best towns. The problem is, after that first generation died off, each tribe went off on its own and none of them were strong enough alone to do what needed to be done. Seven different tribes are listed as only doing a half job. The tribes not listed: Reuben, Gad, Simeon, Judah, and Levi all had outside help in clearing out their lands. (Issachar isn’t mentioned either but the next time we see them, they are working together with other tribes to help Deborah and Barak.)

React: In the job of working out y salvation, in the task of pursuing holiness, how often do I find myself leaving the job half done? There’s a recent movie that is also the title of an old time television show, “The Lone Ranger”. The funny thing is, despite the title, the Ranger is almost never alone. He is always working side by side with Tanto. His clarity of purpose, the means and method of accomplishing his mission, even his very life he owes to that other man. He is not a lone ranger. Neither am I.

If I am to seek help from others, that means I first need to put aside my pride. If I want to experience a complete victory, I first need to admit and expose my weakness. To be lifted up, I must become humble. I don’t know about you but for me that is not very fun. It is so much easier to settle for mediocrity. It is so much more comfortable to do the half job that I can accomplish on my own and just leave it at that. The book of Judges begins with the story of a job half done and continues on in a cycle of failure after failure throughout. Will my life be subject to that same cycle of failures or will I seek out the help from others that I need? Am I vulnerable enough to allow the church to be the Church in my life?


God, I can’t do this thing called life on my own. Especially without You I am doomed to fail, but if I am unwilling to plug into church, to plug into community, then I am destined to fail. Help me to be willing to be humble. Help me to be willing to be vulnerable. You have placed others in my life to help me just as much as You have called me to be a help to others. Help me to be actively doing both.

5 thoughts on “Not Alone

  1. Love this. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

  2. I found this so interesting as I have just finished reading the book of Judges – and I noticed too how often they forgot God. Then I had to ask myself – “Am I any different?” Thanks for the post!

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