Skip to main content

Be the Voice

Proverbs 22:22-23 struck me this morning, and since I already had a plan for the Proverbs Blog today, you’re getting these thoughts over here. These two verses are addressed to Solomon’s sons initially, but by extension we see all Scripture as valuable for all people. So, this is valuable for you and me as well.
These two verses warn against oppressing the poor because he is poor, and not to make the afflictions of the afflicted worse. The reasoning is that God Himself will plead their cases against you, and you will not win.
Let us break this down and note a few things:
First, the poor man: note that poverty is not something to be mocked or oppressed. Throughout the Proverbs, we see that laziness is not to be tolerated. We see that greed or foolishness may be punished, but poverty is no crime.
We have to be very cautious that we do not oppress those who are poor simply for their poverty. It is one thing to punish the guilty, but another to punish the helpless. Societally, we need to evaluate this. Do our social structures punish generations simply for being born poor? If so, something needs to change.
Second, the afflicted: here’s where I get grumpy with governments and businesses. Take this situation here ( about how a company refuses to do what it takes money to do. And don’t think it would be any better with the government in charge of everything—look at some of the other stories (like this one about a boy needing medication) about how FDA regulations cause problems.
We crush them in the city gate. We deny life needing care because it’s too much trouble, or too much cost, or too much risk. Not for the afflicted, but for ourselves.
That’s only the physically ill. Consider those with invisible health problems who are crushed by a society that cannot cope with them. A veteran comes home with PTSD, loses his job because he can’t work it anymore, and our response is to medicate him and hope it gets better. Should we not do something different?
I’m not saying we should do more. The call to “do more” is usually a call to just throw some money at an issue, then throw more money at an issue. It’s never really a solve thing: you can “do more” for kids with learning disabilities simply by letting teachers and parents be the ones to determine what “success” looks like at school instead of a bureaucrat who doesn’t know the kid. Free the teachers to teach—and that for all kids, rather than the ones designated as “problems” for the system. End “test well or die!” at your local school system and see what happens. You’ll have “less” because the federal government will take away the deficit money they are sending you, but you’ll find “more” is the result of effort.
Third, YHWH will plead their case: here is where I will lose some of you.
The Lord God has already spoken, and we have that. In print, available in multiple translations and many languages. It’s called the Bible. Anything beyond that is man’s efforts to speak clearly about what God has already said.
Which means that when the poor and afflicted need their case spoken for, it falls to the people of God to do it. Not to the government or the charity, not to the media or to the social media. To the church and the people who make up the church.
This is not a call to abandon the Gospel that we proclaim, that Christ Jesus died for sinners and rose again.
This is a call that we should live as God’s people while calling out others to salvation in Christ. It is not that we stand for the poor in hopes they’ll be saved. It is not that we stand for the poor because it’s nice or looks good.
It is that we are the voice of the Lord. It's time we started speaking.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…