Archive for September, 2008

God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed

September 22, 2008

I recently came across a passage in the bible which seemed fresh and new to me.  Perhaps because I have been using a different version of the bible for my quiet time these days.  It is the New American Standard Bible.    The passage really “jumped out” at me so I decided to write it out to share it with you:-

Exodus 22:21-27
21 ” You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”

This verse is God speaking about his people of Israel.  The Israelites were formerly slaves in another land  Egypt.  Hence they were foreigners or “aliens” , as the bible often calls them.   To apply this to our modern day living, this would mean we are not to oppress and treat badly foreigners or ethnic people who come to our country either to visit or to stay on a more permanent basis.

22  You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.  If you afflict him at all,  and if he does cry out to Me,  I will surely hear his cry;  and My anger will be kindled,  and I will kill you with the sword,  and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

Widows and orphans are vulnerable people in society.   To go through the death of a spouse, one has known for most of their life, is a huge loss.  Not only must widows endure long term grief,  but many things they may have relied on their spouse to do to survive,  they have to try to do themselves now.   As a result widows can often feel alone and much more vulnerable since they now have to fend for themselves and do not have any more close support nearby. 

To become an orphan at an early age is a huge difficulty for many children around the world.  A mother and father is the source of protection love and provision that a child needs in order to develop emotionally and physically.  At it’s basic level parents are the source of a child’s survival in life.  At a young age,  a child is not able to fend for himself and hence grow up to have a healthy and happy life on their own.  As a result orphans who no longer have the spiritual,  emotional and physical protection of their parents are extremely vulnerable to the oppression and evil of others.  Hence it is a great blessing when orphans can be placed into homes of godly committed parents.  However this does not always occur for many orphans.  Therefore God commands that we be careful to treat all orphans with kindness and love ,  since there plight in life is much more difficult than those who do have parents and a family unit to protect them.

25 If you lend money to My people,  to the poor among you,  you are not to act as a creditor to him;  you shall not charge him interest.  If you ever take your neighbour’s cloak as a pledge you are to return it to him before the sun sets,  for that is his only covering;  it is his cloak for his body.  What else shall he sleep in?  And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me,  I will hear him for I am gracious.

In this passage God is wanting us to have mercy on the poor in our lending practices.  This does not mean we should be a “door mat” and it does not mean we should not exercise wisdom when we lend money or services to other people who cannot afford them.  If we offer help to the poor it is good to do this with a generous and giving heart (not in a grudging & complaining way) , knowing that if we do it with the right attitude God will reward and bless us in His own way and time.  However if we are already in a position of wealth and comfort,  we are not to be greedy &  make the poor suffer more for the sake of our own material gain.  This type of attitude is not pleasing in God’s sight.   I do not know exactly what banks today do in practice. However it is could be wise to adopt godly principals in all their dealings ie to aim to act in a fair just and honourable way to all their customers and not be overcome by greed.  Otherwise God can cause them to dissentigrate as easy as a puff of smoke. 
 
 
 
 

 

An important point to note is that God does not automatically step in to help the poor and oppressed.  But it does say that when they make a decision to choose to cry out to the Lord than God will hear their cries.  This passage is from the book of Exodus and in context applies to when his people “the Israelites” cry out to God.  However I believe that in our modern era,  if those who are oppressed like the poor,  widows or orphans cry out to the true God of heaven and earth & seek him for life solutions in a genuine way,  I believe that the Lord will hear their prayers and help them in His own way & time.

This verse hopefully offers you some food for thought.  How do you think you can be a blessing to a widow orphan or a person or group who is not so financially well off? 

If you cannot think of anything straight away perhaps you could start praying for that person(s)  that God will protect and bless them and reveal himself to them in a real and loving way.

Prayer Points
1. Music Marketing Business Manager- with good networking skills to connect with TV Radio and The Press
2. Music Video Clip Designer
3. Backing Band – sound engineer and roadies
4.  Webmaster
5.  Performing Opportunities
6.  Prayer Team
7.  Translator –  to translate my Poems book of Lyrics into Mandarin

You can also check out my new look website at http://www.adellearwen.com .  I changed it for the moment so I can pitch my music more easily to music industry people.

Thanks for your help
Bev (Adelle)

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