It is interesting to read the prophets of Israel when it comes to injustice.
Take the issue of the remarkable housing disparities discovered by archaeologists who unearthed the 8th century B.C.E. strata (see yesterday's blog).
Something the prophets all point toward is the systemic nature of the injustice afoot in the nation of Israel. For this reason preachers like Amos and Isaiah come down hard on the political officials of their day.
So, for these prophets, the major problem (no matter how unconscionable in the face of extreme poverty and suffering), is not the choice of individuals to use their wealth to build opulent housing. The more important issue is the political and economic systems that help create the wide disparities in opportunity and fortune creation leading to the huge gap between the rich and the poor in Israel during this period.
In other words, the prophets of God go after the root cause of the problem rather than the symptoms that signal its presence.
We don't like to look at this biblical reality, but we ignore it to our peril as a people.
The prophets appeared and they spoke an uncomfortable and challenging message whenever they observed socio-political and economic systems stacked against the poor in favor of the rich.
You'd think there would be a voice or two audible today.
I guess the airways are too clogged with messages of salvation, peace, security and how to manage wealth and success. . .and that in our churches.
The Messiness of Ministry
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