Friday, July 9, 2010

And it shall be

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. Isaiah 24: 2 NRSV

Here we come upon words of destruction and apocalypse, which my biblical notes state were actually added to the book of Isaiah later. In other words, these were not part of Isaiah's own prophesies but were written down and added to the book of Isaiah years later. These may have been written in response to the difficulties that the returning exiles were experiencing in rebuilding Jerusalem. For them, if God just came and destroyed the earth, at least the playing field would be leveled.

Whether you believe in the apocalypse or are looking for God's new creation, these words should remind us of the equal status that God give s to all of us. The apostle Paul speaks of the church as being a place of equal status as well, although in a more positive light. For Paul, there were no social nor ethnic barriers. In this part of Isaiah, there are no economic barriers to protect you from God's wrath or the path of destruction. Whether you are rich or poor, have power or shame, there will be no difference when the earth is "utterly laid waste" (verse 3).

What we do or who we are never remove us from God's sight. God always sees us as we are without either economic or social labels. God never sees us as better than anyone else, either. God loves us but God loves us as much as God loves our neighbor. That is a very sobering thought.

God, thank you for your love for me. And for your love for my neighbor. Help me to love my neighbor, too. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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