We Are Responsible
Yael Eckstein | May 20, 2022
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter. —Proverbs 24:11
We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.
One of the lesser known but vital projects of The Fellowship is our work in support of persecuted Christians. According to reports, 2021 saw a significant increase in the number of Christians worldwide who face a high degree of persecution. Whether it’s mass killings, the burning of churches, or simply restrictions on being a Christian in many countries, Christians are under attack like no time in history.
As a Jew, I have been raised to be sensitive to anyone who is persecuted for their faith and identity. But more than that, I understand that in today’s world, Christians and Jews are pursued and attacked by the same enemies. We are responsible for our sisters and brothers in faith.
The reason for this is simple. We share the values of the Bible and a faith in the God of Israel. Because the persecution of Christians is an attack on biblical faith, as a Jew I take this persecution personally. After all, those who are persecuting Christians for their faith are enemies of Israel and the Jewish people, as well.
We Are Responsible
Proverbs teaches us the importance of saving those who are in danger whenever we have the ability to do so. We read, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” The verse in Hebrew, however, reads a bit differently: Rescue those being led away to death, and those staggering toward slaughter if you hold back.
In other words, wherever we have the ability to prevent the death of the innocent and persecuted, we must step forward and do whatever we can. And just in case we worry about our own loss as we invest our resources in this lifesaving work, Proverbs continues: “If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? (24:12).
As these Bible verses make clear, we have no excuse. If we are aware of persecution anywhere in the world at any time, we are responsible. And when we act, God will repay us for everything we do to support those who are suffering.