August 13, 2018
READ: Ecclesiastes 5:1-20
Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land (v.8).
Maybe it’s just me. But it seems like the world is hurtling out of control, and that all sorts of things are coming undone—institutions, lives, families. I wonder, Has it always been this way?
Perhaps every generation has felt as if things were falling apart. I have to think that those in the midst of World War I and World War II imagined that the global conflicts they faced signalled the end of all things.
It’s not just large-scale conflicts that trouble me, however. It’s also the everyday injustices that most harshly affect the poorest among us, those on society’s margins.
“Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land,” King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:8. He goes further, telling us, “Matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy” while rulers milk the land for profit (vv.8-9).
It’s easy enough to recognise the bureaucracy and red tape, but sometimes it’s harder to see that some political leaders are in it for only themselves. What are we to do when we discover that the poor and marginalised are being oppressed by our leaders and our laws? We could easily become paralysed in our thinking: What can I even do about it? I have no money and I have no power. Or we could deceive ourselves into thinking that ‘liking’ a cause on Facebook is justice in action.
But that’s not enough. Acting humbly, justly, and walking with our God (see Micah 6:8) means we’ll engage in prayer, sacrificial giving, raising public awareness and perhaps even contacting our lawmakers. Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power, may we choose to join God’s work of bringing justice.
365-day plan: Luke 14:15-35
Reflect on Proverbs 24:11-12 and on what God is saying to you through this.
Why is God so concerned about justice? What will you do this week to promote justice in your community and in the world?