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4/25/11

THE ISSUE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE BIBLE

No doubt the Bible is the strong theme of social justice.
In the Old Testament it comes to attitudes towards the disadvantaged: the poor, widows, orphans and foreigners at harvest time, the Israelites were to leave them a little (Dt.24 :19-21).
Interest loans are prohibited (Ex.22: 25).
All persons, including slaves and immigrants have the right to rest on the Sabbath (Ex.23: 12).
Slaves should not be treated with rigor (Lv.25 :39-43).
There is a clear relationship between poverty and oppression, God exhorts the Hebrews to remember that one day they were slaves (Dt.26 :5-8).
The God of Exodus intervenes in favor of the poor and oppressed, who are his people.
The message of the Prophets was quite explicit: "Seek justice, Fulfil the oppression" (Is.1: 17).
The Prophets cried out against the rich and powerful who oppressed the poor, and most strongly against indgnaram a separate religion of justice (Os.8: 13), (Am.5: 15, 21:25), (Mq.6: 6) (Is.58:1-11; ...)
God accepts or rejects the worship of Israel shall base their concern exercised towards the poor.
Even prayer can not replace the aid to the poor (Is.1 :15-17).
In Israel as it was relatively rich in Séc.VIII AC, poverty was not accidental.
The prosperity of the rich rested largely on the exploitation and mistreatment of the poor, through a legal system that favored the rich, the control of monopolies, restrictions on trade, unfair wages and raising prices. Many poor people have even lost their land to big landowners.
A little later, Ezekiel censorship by the rich accumulate unscrupulously properties for speculative purposes (Ez.22: 29).

Many Psalms describe God judging the world with justice (Ps. 96:13, 97:6, 98:9).
His will is for justice and peace kiss each other (Sl.85: 10.11).
The Lord "does justice to the oppressed" (Sl.146: 7).
In the New Testament Jesus' ministry will bring good tidings to the poor, proclaiming a jubilee (Lc.4 :16-19). In the year of jubilee every 50 years, the soil should remain fallow, debts should be forgiven, freed slaves and the property returned to owners that they had lost because of some debt.
God in Christ became poor, choosing the weak, as Paul says, to confound the mighty (ICor.1 :26-29).
The kingdom of God, Jesus said, dadoaos is poor and the rich, should be converted.
This reign inaugurates a new relationship with God and with others.
This puts the kingdom by land our traditional values, so the first in the kingdom are those without any position in society.
The poor are not blessed by Caua of their poverty and misery, nor why they are better than others, but because they recognize their needs before God (Mt.5 :3-11, 11:5, Luke 6:20)
For the rich unconverted, the gospel is bad news, not good news.
So Jesus asks the rich young man, with his boundless love for money and power, selling their property and donate to the poor to have "treasure in heaven.
And that speech is easier for a camel to go through a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom (Mt.19 :16-30).Therefore, it is not surprising that the poor, the marginalized and the excluded heard with much satisfaction.
He attended parties with disreputable people, to challenging, with its behavior, religious institutions and their leaders.
These leaders were offended by the fact that this master had come from Nazareth, an obscure and forgotten city. The kingdom of God is not something we passively wait before help make this happen kingdom.
We must sow the seed and God gives the gift of life, so we can harvest.He calls us to be co-redeemers with him.
Lacked wine at Cana, and Jesus asked the cooperation of servants, and at the same time, produced wine. Today, lack employment opportunities, freedom, homes, hope and justice.
If you do not fill the jars, no miracles too.
The Epistles are full of admonitions about care for the poor.
Greed is a cardinal sin and a form of idolatry (ICor.5: 10.11; 6:10).
The Bible does not condemn the inequality of wealth in itself. Jesus rejoiced at the banquet in Galilee and suffered from thirst on Golgotha.
Paul experienced both prosperity and poverty.
What the Bible condemns is the indifference of the rich towards the poor.
We should bless the poor not so patronizing, but as God has blessed us, that is, with no gratuitous justice and with justice interests.
The goal of Divine Justice is not equality but the Peace:
"And the effect of righteousness will be peace and the operation of justice and home security forever"
Isa.32.17