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No Allies Nearby

No Allies Nearby

03 April 2011

Today’s Reading: Judges 17-18; Psalm 89; 2 Corinthians 3

Scripture:

The people of Laish lived carefree lives, like the Sidonians; they were peaceful and secure. The people were also wealthy because their land was very fertile. And they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby... There was no one to rescue the people, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby… (Judges 18:7, 28 NLT)

The people of Laish were prosperous and peaceful pagans. They were members of the Sidonian alliance, but they had no on-going, face-to-face interaction with the Sidonians. They felt secure in their relationship with the Sidonians, but the Sidonians were too far away to help when things went wrong. There were people nearby, but they had no relationship with them. There was no one around to help when trouble came!

I thought of the admonition in Proverbs, Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. (Proverbs 27:10 NLT)

I have valued friendships with people around the US, in African countries, in the UK, in Jamaica, and elsewhere. I stay in touch with these friends by email, texting, and even an occasional phone call. We rejoice with each other’s blessings and weep over each other’s pain. When I visit them or they visit me, the fellowship is sweet. But we’re not around to help each other in the big and small challenges of everyday life.

We need to cultivate “Close by” friendships. It’s important that we know and that we are known by the people our lives intersect with daily. Daily interaction with people we love and who love us makes life rich. These friendships add value to our lives.

“Close by” relationships provide accountability. “Close by” relationships mean that someone will be there to help us when things go wrong. What steps will you take today to strengthen your “Close by” friendships?

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the reminder about the value of “Close by” relationships. Help me to prioritize my time and efforts to cultivate “Close by” relationships. I need “Close by” friends and I want be a “Close by” friend to others as well.

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