ESOCS Devotional 18 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” Luke 16:19-21
TEXT: LUKE 16:19-31
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggarnamed Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Take a moment and visualize Lazarus: dirty, old, haggard beggar, dressed in rags with putrefying sores all over him sitting at the gate of a house hungry and deprived, with dogs licking his wounds. This is the image of a man that has no hope in life, no future, and no pleasure. All that life holds for him is misery, pain, and rejection.
Also see the rich man in his magnificent building living in opulence and lacking nothing: driving luxury cars, organizing parties, acquiring properties and many other things that meet his ego needs. This man had so much that he can feed a whole town; he had so much at home that they probably threw away food as is common in such places. Yet, just at his gate was a man who needed just a little food to cushion his biting stomach, and a glass of water to sooth his patched throat. This beggar, sitting at the gate, not far away from food and water, seen daily by the rich man, probably died of starvation and disease.
What will the rich man have lost, if he had given a little to poor Lazarus. What Lazarus needed to have survived and even be comfortable in life was an insignificant part of the rich man’s total wealth. But he would not spare anything for Lazarus, and Lazarus died.
The rich man represents man’s typical attitude to those in need. Most people are not concerned about the problems of others. In many ways, we don’t care even when it is in our power to assist. But from the story, we see that even though we may not care, God cares and is concerned about the situation of the “Lazaruses”. He is pained at their neglect. He is pained that those He has put in their hands the means to help the needy are using it for their personal benefits, satisfying their carnal desires and withholding help from those in need. God requires that we use what He has given us for the benefit of others. To do otherwise is to fail as stewards. We also see in this story the vanity of life, for both shall die and go where material possessions will be of no value. The “Lazaruses” will be comforted; but the wicked steward (the selfish rich person) shall have his part in hell.
- an you identify the things God has given to you that can be helpful to others?
- Is there anyone who you can be of help to change the economic life standard?
- Lord, give me a compassionate heart. Help me to live my life in such a way as to be a blessing to others. Amen.
FURTHER READING: Isaiah 63:1-end; Lamentations 3:40-51; Matthew 25:1-30; John 15:1-17
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ESOCS Devotional 18 April 2023