How we treat others is a matter of great importance to God, and it will be taken into account in the judgment! This is the final part of the message to Israel that we began to listen to yesterday. It begins at 9:8 and concludes at 10:4. It is a stinging message; direct and hard on the ear. This last section deals with some of the evil practices of the people. It is important to remember that God hates injustice. He is burning with anger over the oppression of the poor and helpless by the rich and powerful, and, we need to ensure that we are never complicit with such conduct. God states clearly that a ”day of reckoning” is coming upon these unjust people (3), and they will either become ”captives” or ”fall among the slain” (4). Even then, God will not be finished with them (4b). Perhaps that is indicating that beyond any preliminary, and terrible, judgment that may be visited upon them in this world, there is still the final judgment to come.
”Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make victims – Laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, Exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children. What will you have to say on Judgment Day, when Doomsday arrives out of the blue? Who will you get to help you? What good will your money do you? A sorry sight you’ll be then, huddled with the prisoners, or just some corpses stacked in the street.” The Message.
”What will you do on the day of reckoning…To whom will you run for help?” (3; see Job 31:14). These are big and important questions. Only those who are trusting in Christ for salvation can give the right answer. Every other supposed refuge will prove illusory on that day. There are many people who hope to shelter under ‘rocks’ that are like the sort you find on a stage set. They might look good from a distance, but the truth is they are flimsy and not the real thing.
”Where will you leave your riches? (3b). One thing is for sure, you will leave them. Two ladies were talking about a wealthy man who had died. ‘How much did he leave?’ asked one. ‘Everything!’ replied the other. Everyone does. There are ‘no pockets in a shroud.’ Remember the story told by Jesus about the rich fool (Lk.12:13-21) and his words about the shrewd manager: ”I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Lk.16:9). What good is our wealth if we are not ready to meet God? What use is it if we do not steward it as He dictates?
Prayer: Lord, everyone I will meet today bears your image. Help me to see you in them and treat them as I should.