Inequality–A Reason to Mourn

poorBlessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mat 5:4 NKJ)

This text has two parts, first is the mourning that comes from the realization that our sinfulness grieves the heart of God, like any good parent, the Father wants to see his kids do well.  The second part of this text speaks of mourning because we are touched by the heart of God and feel for the things that God feels. There are several scriptures that speak to this but look at this text from Isaiah.

`Why have we fasted,’ they say,` and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast, you find pleasure And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD? “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isa 58:3-7 NKJ)mlk quote

The people of Isaiah’s day were very much like us.  They were experiencing problems in their society and instead of inquiring of God they turned to their own financial wealth, military might and others idols.

Twenty-nine times in Isaiah, God address the subject of justice. In chapter 58 of Isaiah, God finds the people going through the religious rituals, fasting and praying, but it was all external.  The actions of their hearts told a different story. God confronts their hypocrisy, “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate.” Their laborers are forced to work because they have no choice.  When a person has few options, it can seem as though they are enslaved, low wages, no benefits or poor working conditions.  God tells the rich to share the wealth, create opportunities so that the poor don’t have to struggle. Today we’re told that to increase the minimum wage would hurt business and put jobs at risk, but is a job that doesn’t allow a person to pay all their bills and feed their families a job worth having?  It is a slave-slave master mentality and an affront to God.

And we haven’t touched the other subjects of creation care, social injustice, and the so-called ‘righteous war.’ Why should we mourn—because God cares and in that fact we can find comfort.

About Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.
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