No, It is not Valentine’s Day. The subject of this
Caring occurs at many levels and in many different ways. Because of this, it is hard to define in a succinct sentence. For the purpose of this discussion, I shall restrict myself to “caring for people,” although we also should care for animals, our environment, and property. I have highlighted the word in RED because Red is the colour ascribed to it by the Character Counts! Foundation.
What springs to mind when I think of CARING is the relationship between a parent and a child. Either the parent cares for the child, in terms of the child’s physical and emotional needs, or later in life, the child is caring for his or her parent in a similar way. It is widely accepted and expected that a parent should take care of his her child, provide food, shelter and clothing and then beyond an atmosphere in which the child can develop intellectually, physically and emotionally. A parent provides security for the child and a parent does his or her best to shield their child from harm.
Not wanting to undermine or diminish the familial obligation to care, it does stretch beyond that.
If we look in the Bible, we can see many examples of caring:
Pharaoh’s Daughter & Moses.
“Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the
Then his sister [Miriam] asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
“Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”- Exodus 2:5-10
Shobi, Makir and Barzillai bring needed supplies to David and his men during the revolt of Absolom;
When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep and cheese from cows’ milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, “The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert.” – 2 Samuel 17:27-29
These are just two examples, in the Old Testament that speak of people who showed compassion, and as a result took practical steps to help. Clearly, God used these people, in circumstances that God’s people found themselves. Clearly Pharaoh’s daughter was not Jewish. As I will point out in the next
Pharaoh’s daughter did not focus on the fact that Moses was a Jew, though the text makes it clear that she knew he was one of the Hebrew babies, but what she focused on was that there was a baby in need. Yes the Lord moved in her heart and so orchestrated the situation to bring about his desired result, just as he may call on you to be caring to fellow human being who needs your help.
I had not previously read this story of Shobi, Makir and Barzillai.
The son of Nahash. Nahash, king of the Ammonites was no friend of the Jewish people. It is not clear here if the word “son” is literally implied, or meaning descendent of Nahash but the point to note in this context is that Shobi was not Jewish. Interesting background on Nahash can be found in 1Sam. 11 and 12:12
Son of Ammiel. He was Jewish. He lived in the
Described as a Gileadite , Barzillai was of the half tribe of Mannasseh. Gilead, the place, was east of the
Two or possibly three old men, one of them not Jewish, came to the aid of David and his men. They brought much needed supplies to them. Sometimes, we are tempted to make excuses as to why we are not in a position to help or care, but these three men serve as an example of how they served despite their age, or their social status. They may not have been able to become fighters alongside David, but their role of bringing food to David and his men, was as essential as the role of those on the frontline. We should not waste time bemoaning the fact that we can’t help in some “BIG” way, but see what we CAN do and know that our contribution is important too.
Caring, is I think a value in life that demands more of us than the other values we’ve been discussing. If you love someone, caring comes as a natural outflow of that love.
John 13:34 – [Jesus said,] “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 Corinthians 12:25b-26 “..., but that its parts [parts of the Body – the Church] should have equal concern for one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
1 Corinthians 13:3-4 “If I give all I possess to the poor….but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, …”
In other words Caring without love is a waste of time, but love is caring.
Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 2 – The whole chapter has relevance, but I highlight just verses 15 to 17: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you say to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith, by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead”
1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s Grace in its various forms.
1 John 4: 19-21 “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must love his brother. (I need to point out that Peter was not speaking merely about blood-relative, but anyone and everyone.)
The quintessential text about caring is the story of the Good Samaritan. We will examine the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the next
Coming Soon, to a computer screen near you!
The Good Samaritan