Monday, December 9, 2013
who's using whom?
Good afternoon friends,
First, there is a small but important meeting tonight for some folks in Urban Presbyterians Together, the Rochester church consortium we're most active in. We'll be thinking about how we can strengthen each other for ministry. Please keep this meeting in prayer for God's wisdom and creativity to shine through.
Our reading today is both a critique of the wealthy and powerful of Jerusalem and the beginning of a critique of the King of Assyria. God used the Assyrian Empire to punish Israel and Judah for their injustice. But the Assyrians didn't realize they were God's instrument, so they thought they were really in charge. God says Assyria isn't going to get off the hook either.
10:1 Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, 2to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey! 3What will you do on the day of punishment, in the calamity that will come from far away? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth, 4so as not to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain? For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.
5Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger— the club in their hands is my fury!6Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. 8For he says: “Are not my commanders all kings?9Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols whose images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,11shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols what I have done to Samaria and her images?”