Faith, God

Champion of The Poor And Oppressed

We’ve all been taught since childhood that things in life should be fair but nothing could be further from the truth. Why should some people be born into money while others are born into poverty? Why should some people be healthier, or prettier or more charismatic than others? Why should some people be allowed to get away from their misdeeds while others have to suffer the consequences of their wrongdoings? Is there really fairness in this world? Should we even try to impose a sense of justice on this unjust world? Won’t it be a waste of time and an invitation for persecution by the princes of this world?

Let us take a look at what the Bible has to say about fairness and God’s heart for those living in great need.

“‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. I will protect them from those who malign them.” (Psal 12:5)

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” (Psal 68:5)

“I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” (Psal 140:12)

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (Isa 41:17)

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.” (Jere 9:23-24)

“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:52-53)

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:20-21)

“So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.’” (Luke 7:22)

If God’s heart is with the poor and needy then wouldn’t it be the duty of all Christians to offer them a helping hand? Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21)

In the Parable of The Sheep and The Goats, the King will say to the sheep: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt 25:34-36)

Jesus Christ is the great Shepherd; he will shortly distinguish between those that are his, and those that are not. All other distinctions will be done away; but the great one between saints and sinners, holy and unholy, will remain forever. The happiness the saints shall possess is great. It is a kingdom; the most valuable possession on earth; yet this is but a faint resemblance of the blessed state of the saints in heaven. It is a kingdom prepared. The Father provided it for them in the greatness of his wisdom and power; the Son purchased it for them; and the Holy Spirit, in preparing them for the kingdom, is preparing it for them.

A vicious cycle of economic inequality is widening the income gap between the rich and the poor. This results in divided societies in which the rich and poor live in different worlds [1]. Trickle-down economics which is suppose to benefit the poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole does not work anymore because the spending patterns of the rich have changed to favour the rich more than the poor. Inequality in the United States has been increasing sharply for more than four decades and shows no signs of retreat. In varying degrees, it’s been the same pattern in other countries. A balancing force is needed to counter the vicious cycle before inequalities and injustices grow to a breaking point. This force can only come from God who is the champion of the poor and oppressed. As Christians we should follow the advice of Christ to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33) and to give from our hearts to those in need (Luke 11:41). Only by doing the will of God can we inherit His kingdom where love, peace and justice prevail.

Reference [1]: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77280.html

Let us praise God with the song “This Is Our God”:

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