sexta-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2016
THE KING IS US
Endow the king with your justice, O God.
Psalm 72:1 (read 72.1-6) - NIV
If it were not for the figure of the “king” this prayer could address a great need for the world of today. Powerful kings are a figure of the past, but injustice, dishonesty, exploitation of the people (and the environment), and poverty are more entrenched than ever before. In the place of the “king” we could put all who have any political and economic power.
The monarchy as a source of power died long ago. Democracy is our ideal. Those who are in positions of authority are supposed to represent us. At least by theory we choose our leaders. Thus the government reflects who we are and what our moral and ethical levels are. As voters, we cannot escape responsibility for what we permit to happen. To do so would be omission. Failure to do good is as grave a fault as to practice evil. In this sense, the “king” is us.
This prayer puts social, economic and environmental justice as divine concerns. To practice justice is an act of faith as much as to attend religious services, pray and read the Bible.
This psalm points out the divine priorities. It would be much easier if our way of worship or system of belief were the most important things in God's eyes. Therefore, the supreme value would be the salvation of our soul and our preparation for eternal life. The psalmist ignores religious issues.
It seems that God isn’t very spiritual. It seems that the Divine Being is very socialist and materialistic by talking about social justice and material well-being.
The first part of Genesis is all about material things: the Earth and the placement of human beings on it to be "stewards". But the first stewards were confused. They changed the "care for the earth" into "taking advantage of the situation." They ate the fruit that was not theirs (consumerism). They lost their paradise.
The characteristic of our society is to contine to put "advantage" above "caring". Injustice and poverty occur when the strong "take advantage" of those who are weaker instead of securing the general welfare. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. We have reached the point of threatening our Garden, Earth! The Earth is our only home. The devastation of the Earth means the extinction of the human species.
We are a suicidal society unless we can fit in the spirituality of Psalm 72. Eternity includes the present and eternal life begins with our earthly life. Heaven begins on earth. If we do not take care of things of the earth, the heavens will be denied us.
Honesty and justice are compared to showers watering the Earth. Prosperity and peace depend on them to spring up and bear its fruit. We are "kings and queens" called upon to exercise peace and justice. This is the only spirituality able to avoid global disaster and save our "garden".
The gospel must be the embodiment of the good news of salvation. This salvation begins with us in our living of peace and justice.
PSALM 72:1-6 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.
May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
May he endure[a] as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.