Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Playground Rage

Well, this is quite a strange time for me to be writing, cause usually at 4pm I am dealing with tired hungry kids and trying to cook dinner or tidy up, but they are confined to their rooms for the moment so i have a few minutes to tell you what happened today. I had arranged to go to Smilies (a big indoor playground) this morning so the kids could have a play with their cousins (and so Jen and I could 'relax' with a coffee). Unfortunately, because it was raining, most of the Gold Coast had the same thought so it was packed and very noisy.

Because there were so many people, the line for the indoor merry-go-round was quite long and so we lined up early to have a go. well, when i say lined up, it was actually more like an ants nest of toddlers trying to get into the little gate to rush to a seat on the merry-go-round. well, all of our kids got to a seat, and the bigger ones got on, but Josh couldn't quite get onto his so he was waiting to get help. he was standing their patiently when a bigger girl came from the other side and hopped on his hippo! (they were hippos and cats rather than horses)

Of course, Josh was horrified and cried inconsolably as i went in and picked him up to take him out. How unfair!! and THEN.... the little girls mum said "looks like he just missed out". Just missed out??? JUST MISSED OUT??? ILL GIVE YOU JUST MISSED OUT!!! (of course i didn't give it to her, but i sure felt like it!!)

Seeing injustice makes me angry. I hate it that life isn't fair. And i really hate it when you cant do anything about it. I get angry when kids are neglected or abused, or people are denied their rights because they are poor or oppressed, or when people who do the wrong thing aren't held accountable for their actions. And it makes me ask, what does God think about these things? And what does He want me to do about it?

Exodus chapter 3 speaks of Gods response to the slavery and oppression of the Israelites in Egypt

The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

God sees the injustice in the world, he hears the cries of the oppressed, he is concerned and wants to rescue them and so he

Today wasn't a time to do anything, I just had to let that one slide. And when you have been wronged, sometimes thats what you have got to do.

In 1 Samuel 24:12, David says to Saul who has been trying to kill him - "May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you."

Proverbs 10:12 says "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."

But sometimes, when we see injustice, it is time to act.

Justice is mentioned 134 times in the Bible, and God has a lot to say about it. He talks about the poor 178 times, the oppressed 47, the widow 103, the alien 102, the fatherless 39. Thats a total of 469 references! Seeing injustice angers God, and he will do something about it.

check out these verses -

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

(Isaiah 58:6-7)

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay', says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)

Do you see the difference there? God will take care of the perpetrator, and he has given his people the job of looking after the victims. So, in many cases, there is something you can do. Whether that be giving to charities or volunteering to serve the poor, or advocating for the oppressed in your community, or writing to politicians, or just helping a child in a playground :). Ask God to show you his heart for the oppressed, the widows, the fatherless, the poor, the migrant. And then act when he provides opportunities for you to be His hands and His witness here on earth, both in your actions and your reactions.

peace out. :)

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