Scripture: Proverbs 28:3; 29:7
3 “A ruler who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.”
7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
Having grown up on a farm and seeing what driving rain can do to a cornfield makes this proverb especially clear. Driving rain cuts ruts in fields carrying away topsoil, the richest, most nutritious part of the dirt. With the topsoil gone exposing its roots, the plant is greatly weakened, if not washed away altogether. Low spots in the field are flooded playing further havoc. Not only is the immediate crop destroyed, but major work needs to be done to get the field back in shape for the next crop.
When the rain is driving that hard, you are hoping it will let up and give the field “a break.” When the poor are being oppressed by a cruel leader, the poor are hoping for some relief that does not come. Sorrow and hopelessness follow. The poor are trapped in a demoralizing situation. So, a ruler who oppresses the poor with no real concern for people, is a disaster. Such leadership that does not actually help the poor, simply acts to prolong their condition.
On the other hand, a truly righteous leader cares about justice for the poor and works to make an eternal difference. Caring for the poor among us involves being concerned that they have justice. But this justice needs to be seen I terms of God’s moral justice with its roots being grounded in the truth that all people are made in God’s image and bare the stamp of their Creator. Much so-called justice today is about rights, control, and power. But we are talking about a different justice that begins with God, that is giving God is rightful position and bowing before him, respecting the dignity of every person, tribe, and nation. As fellow pilgrims in need of the saving grace of Christ, traveling down the tough path of life in this world, we continue to look for those we can encourage and assist along the way. Look for someone today to whom you can give assistance or a word of encouragement, always keeping our final destination in sight!
Music: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” Fountainview Academy
Prayer: Bring us, O Lord God, at the last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but an equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity, in the habitations of thy majesty and thy glory, world without end. –John Donne, 1571-1631 from Eerdmans’ Book of Famous Prayers, p.52