Revelation 8; Nehemiah 11; Psalm 103
“The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6 NKJV)
The idea that God will execute righteousness and justice for the oppressed should either give you comfort, or it should strike fear into your heart. Your reaction to that statement may pinpoint what side of oppression you’re on: giving or receiving. Here’s a quick hint, if you’re in a position of power, you’re more likely to oppress others than to be oppressed.To be fair, if you are oppressing others, you may not realize you’re doing so, because that’s the way you’ve always done things. If you are treating someone you have power over as less than a beloved child of God, then you’re most likely finding some way to use them for your own benefit without regard to their needs and personhood and you’re oppressing them. The sneaky part is, sometimes our efforts to help, if they do not encourage the God-given dignity of humanity, are actually forms of oppression.
Jesus was perhaps the only person of power who was oppressed. He gave up His power, though, to endure everything He went through, ultimately ending on the cross. When you look at His ministry, He fought back against oppression. He never attacked the people out of power, He only dealt harshly with those in power who oppressed others. Think about the woman caught in adultery, or the woman at the well. Realize that when He cleared the Temple, those who felt His wrath were oppressing poor people. In all of this we learn that God has an affinity for people society rejects – whether they know Him or not. As followers of Christ, we’re called to invite people to eat who would never invite us; reach out to the downcast, the prisoner, the hungry, the poor. We should, by ou example of service, lead others to show God’s compassion to those who are oppressed. Find ways to serve others today.
Lord, too often I engage in oppressing others without even thinking about it or realizing it. Teach me to recognize that in my life and then mold me into the image of Jesus so that I can treat those who are oppressed with Your righteousness and justice.