Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob and chiefs of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong! Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, its prophets give oracles for money; yet they lean upon the Lord and say, “Surely the Lord is with us! No harm shall come upon us.” Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
There is wisdom in the old saying: before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. The real wisdom, of course, is that by the time you’ve finished criticizing them you’re a mile away and they don’t have any shoes…but the prophet isn’t mincing any words here, are they?
It doesn’t take much imagination to think about how relevant this prophecy is today. As relevant as it was when it was first delivered. The situation in the Holy Land doesn’t seem to have moved on much, does it?
Then again, let’s expand our geographical horizons a little more… let’s substitute Zion/Israel for any current country and leadership – there will be people who think this applies to their homeland, too.
And finally let’s go micro and think about our own lives. I’m not suggesting that we have built our lives on blood and that we abhor justice – but we’re so often seduced by the false prophets of advertising or the “I’m all right, Jack” mentality that lets others suffer because their situation doesn’t affect us.
Maybe we should spend some time sorting our own lives out before we start criticizing others.
Loving God Forgive us when we are angry at injustices done by others but in denial of the wrongs that we have done. Shine your light of love onto our own lives so that we can see more clearly how we need to change to more faithfully walk the way of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen
Leo Roberts, Children and Youth Development Officer, North Western Synod
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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