"The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous."Proverbs 14:19and"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazerus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that wouldst send him to my father's house. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. And Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."Luke 16:19-31-----Illustration with 14 - The #1 is used in drawing a stick man looking down on #4 (using a regular 4) which is a chair and a man kneeling down beside it; with an arrow circling around them. This illustration portrays the rich man towering over the broken and poverty stricken man (Lazarus) in a proud, arrogant and unmerciful posture ... and the arrow reminds me that God turns the tables so that the places of the two men are exchanged in eternity.-----The infirmities that Lazarus was forced to endure on earth placed him in a poverty stricken state and daily at the mercy of others. Utterly helpless in posture, the scripture asserts that he was laid before the gates of the wealthy man, where he begged crumbs and was attended by dogs. A pitiful and forlorn individual ... Lazarus was the object of ridicule, rejection and repulsion. I can't imagine a more difficult or painful life than the one lived by Lazarus.The wealthy man, on the other hand, is living the high life and enjoying the luxeries of the rich and famous. He sees Lazarus ... but he doesn't have compassion on him. Day after day he is given opportunity to extend mercy, and day after day his heart grows colder and more unreceptive until finally, he doesn't see him at all.The wealthy man, who has the power and means to rescue Lazarus, leaves him lay.----Why God allows such scenarios ... only He knows;But He rectifies the situation in the end in stunning and comforting ways, and in doing so, paints a portrait for us of what's coming for eternity:Every downcast, outcast, broken, bruised and beaten individual who has known what it is to lay at the gates ... is going to be compensated in heaven's gates. The One who saw it all, observed it all, and knows the "all" is going to end it all.The final chapter of a "Lazarus" will read tender, sweet, and glorious. What a homecoming he will enjoy ... when his day comes.----To invest much time in the outcome of the wealthy man ... I won't.It is enough to know that everything he took on earth will be taken from him in heaven, and that will be God's to judge.-----Make tender my heart today, Lord. Where I have watched others lay at the gates and done nothing ... please forgive. Where arrogance and pride have blinded my eyes, please forgive. And Father, where I am sick, needy, broken, and poverty stricken like Lazarus ... please console, comfort, and heal me. For your unfailing love, tender compassion, and faithful hand ... thank you.You are loved and worthy of my adoration.Amen.THREE QUESTIONS:1) Are you in the position of the wealthy man or Lazarus? What is the reason for your answer?2) Who is laying at your gates and how are you extending compassion?3) What will be the end result of your present responses be from the Lord ... and is He pleased with you?
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