“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar. To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?” (Isaiah 10:1-3)
God pronounced judgment on those who used legal processes to oppress the widows, the fatherless, and the poor. A day of reckoning is ahead for those guilty of such treatment. The people of God have been guilty of injustice and cruelty many times throughout history in their treatment of he poor. God confronts leaders of His people with their guilt and pronounces His judgment against them.
The people of God then and even today are not free from such guilt. We need to hear God’s judgment on our behavior. The pulpits of today should allow no one to feel comfortable in their mistreatment of the poor. Christian disciples need to be challenged to provide loving care that is appropriate for followers of Christ.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, as Your people, no one, no not one, should feel comfortable in the treatment of our poor, our fatherless, our homeless. The efforts that have been made, are few and far between and not one leader, not one of Your children should feel comfortable in what they have accomplished. All of us collectively, could and should do better than we have done. Guide us this day and everyday, Abba, with the help of Your Spirit, to do more for those less fortunate than ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When we’ve done what we can—-God will do what we can’t!”
“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress he poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, ‘Bring us some drinks!’ The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness: ‘The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.” (Amos 4:1-2)
God is displeased with the oppression of the poor and needy. The elite women were guilty of such mistreatment. God showed the end result of such an irresponsible and foolish life-style.
They needed to repent and turn to God, but they would not do so. God expects both men and women to center life on helping others rather than fulfilling selfish desires.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
Jesus looked with compassion upon the crowd of people following Him. They were spiritually destitute and worn out, like a neglected flock of sheep without a shepherd. A compassion for the oppressed seeks action to alleviate their need. Jesus sought to awaken compassion in His disciples and cause them to meet the needs of the spiritually neglected. Workers to reach out to spiritually neglected people were few then, and they still are too few today. Jesus calls us to compassion, not to condemnation, for the oppressed.
Second Thought of the Day:
These religious leaders prayed long prayers and appeared religious, but they oppressed the defenseless rather than ministering to the oppressed. Disciples gain honor in secret service, not in public display. Jesus questioned the motives of certain scribes and teachers of the law who loved to call attention to themselves. Status seekers make poor teachers of divine revelation.
“As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and he places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’” (Mark 12:38-40)
Jesus had strong words for His enemies. He warned the religious legalists they faced eternal punishment. Why? Because hey wanted the chief places in the synagogue and places of honor at social occasions. These legalists lacked the compassion to reach out to the oppressed. Rather, they misused their leadership to take advantage of defenseless people such as widows.