Reading Proverbs 17:1-28
There is much about justice in today’s chapter: those who are unjust in the way they talk, (vs 4,5,7,9,14,20) the way they act by giving bribes (8,23) and in miscarriages of justice, (15,26). One of the aspects of God’s character that we can rejoice in is that God is just. God wants us to work for justice and oppose injustice wherever and whenever we see it!
In November 2013 Angelina Jolie was awarded The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In her speech she said these words,
“I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had, to have this path in life and why across the world, there is a woman just like me, with the same abilities and the same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would most likely make better films and better speeches. Only she sits in a refugee camp, and she has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever be allowed to return home. I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers. I don’t understand that but I will do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life, to be of use.”
Because of Jesus I want to live in a different way too; I want as Angelina Jolie says to be of use (I think you do too, because you’re plugging away at Proverbs). I think that’s what God wants us to do: to think about what’s better for others, to ask ourselves, “How we can help make the world different, bring about fairness, hope to a dying, deeply unjust world?” Are there ways today you could fight injustice?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:6-10 NIV)
Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent – the Lord detests them both. (Proverbs 17:15)
Father, I pray your kingdom come in my life and in the lives of all those who are oppressed. Help me to remember to pray and advocate for the governments and kingdoms of this world, that they might legislate for, and implement, Godly principles of justice and righteousness. Lord, I pray for the poor to receive good news, for prisoners to experience freedom, for those in the blindness of darkness to have the light of hope, for those oppressed in slavery and trafficking to be set free. If there are things that I can do show me. Please give me courage to speak up and to stand up for what is right. In Jesus name. Amen.
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