January 30, 2013 by Chris French
To make everyone around you holy you MUST insulate yourself with righteous people. Just like insulation in a house helps keeps out the unwanted temperatures from outside from coming in righteous people surrounding you can keep the negative influences from the ones you’re trying to help from getting into you. Without this barrier you will fall sooner rather than later. We were never meant to serve God alone. It works best in community. That way we can watch out for each other. Do you remember when Cain killed Abel? God started looking for Abel, but He found Cain. He asked Cain where Abel was and Cain said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” God doesn’t answer Cain’s question then, but we know from the rest of Scripture what the answer to his question is. Am I my brother’s keeper? Absolutely! I’ve got a responsibility toward you to help you be more holy. I won’t answer for your sins on Judgment Day, but I will answer for my lack of effort in helping you out of yours. However, it’s easier for the unrighteous people around me to bring me into their sin than it is for me to bring them out of theirs, so I need several people holding onto my other hand as I reach over the ledge and try to help the unrighteous back onto solid ground. Without these people in your life you will fall to sin just like you would fall over the ledge trying to hoist someone up a cliff face if you weren’t holding onto something with deep roots.
Make sure these people who you’re trusting to pull you back up are rooted deeply themselves. That doesn’t have to mean that they’ve got everything together and that their life is perfect, but it does have to mean that they are trying with everything they’ve got. We don’t need to lean on a broken staff. It’s a good way to get hurt! As these righteous people minister to you then you have the strength to minister to the people around you who need your help.
You see Joshua doing this same thing. He surrounded himself with the leaders of Israel who were holy people. Leading Israel was tough. Moses and Joshua both give us a pretty good account of the struggles with leading this particular nation. Moses was probably where Joshua learned about this whole insulation thing. In Numbers 11 Moses pleads with God, if God loves him, to kill him. The people are whining, yet again, about not having meat to eat and you got to love Moses’ reaction to God. “Are these people my kids? Why are they my burden? I’m tired of dealing with them alone!” God tells Moses to appoint 70 leaders among Israel’s tribes to help him deal with the people. Apparently Joshua continued the custom because in Judges 2.7 it says that the nation of Israel was faithful while Joshua lived and even after he died as long as the elders who helped him were still alive. Like Moses, Joshua has a great burden to bear in leading this nation, but he’s surrounded himself with righteous people he can trust to minister to him as he helps the struggling people around him. You will need to do the same.