But If Not...

You may have heard about the incredible finish of the World Triathlon Series in Mexico on Sunday. A British racer, Jonny Brownlee, was in the lead when he suddenly slowed and staggered over to a water station less than half a mile from the finish line. His brother, Alistair, was in a battle for second place with Henri Schoeman from South Africa. When he saw Jonny, however, he immediately stopped racing, put Alistair's arm over his shoulder, and helped his brother towards the finish line. Schoeman continued running, winning the race. When the brothers reached the finish, Alistair pushed his brother across the line in second place where he fell to the ground exhausted. Alistair then crossed the line himself, taking the third place.

Even though Alistair was in a race, he was not content to finish unless his brother finished as well. He wasn't even satisfied with just a finish for him, however. He wanted his brother to cross the line ahead of him. When I read this story, I was reminded of a very different but also very similar situation recorded in the Bible. The Children of Israel were at the base of Mount Sinai and they had done incredibly wicked things. Moses went up the mountain to plead with God and what he said amazes me. He told the Lord, "Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written" (Exodus 32:32). Moses was not willing to "finish the race" on his own. If he was going to finish, he wanted the people of Israel to finish with him. If they weren't going to make it, he didn't want to either. What unselfish love is this! Are you willing to pray that prayer? It's easy to talk bad about a brother or a sister or to point out their sins. That makes us feel better. But are you willing to pray that if they aren't going to be saved that you don't want to be saved either?

Praying for the selflessness of Moses,

Pastor Sutherland