“You drive the price of rents up so that humble people are cast out onto the streets,
You store up your wealth for your latter days, having no concern for those in need now,
You shake hands with those who pass policies protecting your wealth, at the expense of those who have naught.”
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That is not from the Bible, I wrote that, but this is from the Bible:
“1 Woe to those who devise wickedness
and work evil on their beds!
When the morning dawns, they perform it,
because it is in the power of their hand.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them away;
they oppress a man and his house,
a man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus says the Lord:
behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
from which you cannot remove your necks,
and you shall not walk haughtily,
for it will be a time of disaster.
4 In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you
and moan bitterly,
and say, “We are utterly ruined;
he changes the portion of my people;
how he removes it from me!
To an apostate he allots our fields.”
5 Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot
in the assembly of the Lord.
6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach—
“one should not preach of such things;
disgrace will not overtake us.”
7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob?
Has the Lord grown impatient?
Are these his deeds?
Do not my words do good
to him who walks uprightly?
8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy;
you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly
with no thought of war.
9 The women of my people you drive out
from their delightful houses;
from their young children you take away
my splendor forever.”
Doesn’t sound very different to our day does it?
It is in our power* to stop the rising homelessness, and bring house prices and rents back into the reach of the ordinary hard working family man, and the young renting couple, and the new recent uni-graduate just starting their career. It is in our power, but it is not in the will of our leaders or the most affluent and influential of our people. So-sad-too-bad is the attitude.
So, to was it the attitude of Israel in its latter years before the exile. And their nation suffered decline and defeat as a result. What makes us think we are so special God would let us get away with what he disapproved of in his own people?
* By power, I mean the government has the theoretical political power to do something and the population has the theoretical political influence through lobbying and voting to demand something is done, but neither is interested or really willing to use that power or influence justly. We are apathetic.
Matthew Littlefield writes to think through some of the current issues facing society, the Church and whatever else comes to mind that might be interesting to process. Matt's focus is usually historical or scriptural, though he will address current issues from time to time as well. He is a co-author of The Ezekiel Declaration and the book, Defending Conscience, How Baptists reminded the Church to defy tyranny. He blogs most days at YoungGospelMinister.blogspot.com.
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