19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
- On a scale of one (the rich man and his brothers, being in Hades, or on the way there) to ten (Lazarus, with Abraham, and God), where do I stand? Why do I place myself there? In the context of this story, there is no “in between”. There is only either where the rich man is, or where Lazarus is. How does this make you feel? How does this reflect your understanding/belief of Hell?
- The problem of the rich man and his brothers is not lack of knowledge of God’s word for they have Moses and the Prophets’ teachings. Part of their problem lies in unbelief. They would not respond to the Word of God, “to Moses and the Prophets”. They simply would not be convinced. Do you have that tendency?
- Meditate on v31, read it over a couple of times. What about you? Do you listen to God’s word? Are you convinced of it? Do you show your faith by your obedience?
- Does this story inspire you to be concerned of your unbelieving family members and friends? Write their names down and pray for them one by one that they would be willing to hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and saviour. (You may use the prayer for unbelievers in yesterday’s meditation as a reference.)
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: Parents, this is another good opportunity to guide your child to consider eternal life and salvation. Read through the story slowly. Allow children to ask questions. Then help them to make the decision to accept Jesus or to reassure them of their salvation in Christ.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:12-13
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.