Friday, November 16, 2012

Seek Justice, Love Mercy

Jot this down….. Robin CAN shorten her word count on occasion! :) This may be the shortest blog you will ever see me post! Well, that is….one with the shortest segments of my own ramblings! J Today I’m just going to offer a couple of opinions.....maybe even charges, followed by some hard evidence. Then,  you can render your own verdict. (Sorry....I went through a brief phase of wanting to go to law school before we had the boys.)
This political climate has definitely been weighing on me on some issues.  However, it is the Lord that has REALLY been working on me in one area in particular over the last few Working!! As in, completely changing my heart…..and it really needed to be changed to be more like His and He still has plenty of work to do. So, I have prayed that as I tend to be bitter and easily stirred toward anger when it comes to government, taxes. and entitlement programs, for the Lord to help me weigh the matter the way HE would and show me where I’m looking at it wrong. I have to say….I’m still waiting for full clarity. As always, if we need answers, there is one Book that trumps all others. The Bible does have a lot to say about these topics that I struggle with and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So, let's start with the one that really ruffles our feathers.... idleness. One portion in particular is pretty blunt and it’s the one that we always refer to so, let’s just go ahead and look at it:

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

It’s pretty clear. That's why we always refer to it when we get on our soapbox. There are many references to being idle (lazy, not putting forth any effort in some area) throughout the Bible. But, one thing the Bible is also clear on is that there will ALWAYS be poor among us. In the past, my tendency has been to neglect those portions of scripture. We will always be equal in the eyes of God but that does not mean we will all make the same amount  money and own the same things. So, should the government take from the people who are “rich”, working 60+ hours/week for years and years and give it to those who don’t work and instead are “working the system”? I’m pretty sure that’s some type of robbery. Nowhere does scripture say that, because He intends for all who are able to work in some form or fashion. However, this is what I do know as suredly as He has taught me anything else: If we as Christians, (my, myself, and I and any of you who claim to be), would love the way He repeatedly tells us to love……there would be many, many needs met without the government taking one single step.

Micah 6:6-8
 What Does the Lord Require?
 6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
 and bow myself before God on high?
 Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
 with calves a year old? 
 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
 with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
 the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
 8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
 and what does the Lord require of you
 but to act justly, and to love mercy,
 and to walk humbly with your God?

SEEK  justice, yet LOVE mercy.

Isaiah 1:11-17
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?, says
the Lord. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well- fed beasts;
 I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
 or of lambs, or of goats.
 12 “When you come to appear before me,
 who has required of you
 this trampling of my courts?
 13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
 New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
 I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
 my soul hates;
 they have become a burden to me;
 I am weary of bearing them.
 15 When you spread out your hands,
 I will hide my eyes from you;
  even though you make many prayers,
 I will not listen;
  your hands are full of blood.
 16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
 remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
  cease to do evil,
 17 learn to do good;
  seek justice,
correct oppression;
  bring justice to the fatherless,
 plead the widow's cause.

SEEK justice, LOVE mercy.

Luke 14:13-14
 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

2 Corinthians 8:12-15
 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.  For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness  your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.  As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Matthew 25:31-45
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 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, 36 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. ’

 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? ’

 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ’

 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. ’

 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? ’

 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. ’
I could go on and on and on and on and on with scriptural references. (But, I said this would be pretty short) It is THAT important to our God because He IS justice and mercy for all of us.
I still believe the way our government operates is unjust in forcing the hand of workers to supply for those who don’t work. There are many, many ways it could be more wisely distributed to cover true needs.
Here's the thing, though......  I believe that as Christians, we have thought of caring for the poor as an option.  Jesus said we would always have the poor among us. If we had no responsibility, why would He address it SO much? Yet, we (I) have ignored it and considered our retirement, our vacations, our hobbies, etc. more important than feeding and clothing those in need and our time in those things as more valuable than visiting the sick, downtrodden, or captive.  I don’t see anywhere in the Old OR New Testament where I ever had the right to leave their care in the hands of government or anyone else.  Not sure where He’s taking me with this but…. I’m listening. i'm not telling any of you what to do or think....but, i'm telling you what He is drilling into me. You will have to weigh the evidence yourselves and see where you stand. It's between each of us and the Judge.


No comments:

Post a Comment