Friday, November 9, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sin of Being Rich in a Poor Society
Isaiah 2: 5-9
Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures (Isa 2:7).
Prophet Isaiah condemned the ill-gotten wealth of Israel as it took the people away from both God and their fellow human beings. He ominously declared, "Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land" (Isa. 5:8). The statement in today's passage, "Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures" (v. 7) suggests that the people have been hoarding riches instead of sharing them for the common good.
Affluence doesn't happen overnight. It takes time: almost always, over many years. Its results are not immediately apparent, especially to the great majority of people. The more the affluence is spread around, the more everyone approves of it. But inevitably the distribution of wealth becomes skewed; it happens under every economic and political system.
Isaiah's message is as relevant today as it was in the 6th century BCE in the land of Judah. According to The Times of London, the 62 wealthiest individuals or families in the world have as many assets as the combined wealth of the lower half of the population of the entire world. Twenty-nine of the wealthiest 62 are Americans, as are seven out of the top ten. In India, a tiny minority at the very top go on to amass enormous wealth even as millions live below the poverty line.
Isaiah who witnessed the unjust economic and social system during his time, spoke up and said God was not pleased. Nor is God pleased in the 21st century that a very small group have far too many assets and too many people have far too few assets. It is unjust, it is unfair, and it is unchristian.

Lord, deliver us from the sin of being rich in a poor society, Amen.
Abundance blinds our eyes to the plight of the poor.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church