I was reading Isaiah 21 today and found myself zoning out because, for the most part, I had no clue what the chapter meant. I know it was about some ancient race of people living in Arabia who was about to reap the whirlwind of God’s wrath, but beyond that, I can’t be certain. I realize if I studied it further I would be able to unlock its secrets, but I quickly got distracted and started looking at the news sites on-line.
After about 20 minutes of reading news reports and blogs, I realized the way I treat much of the Old Testament treat is the same way I treat the riots in Charlotte: it is not part of my world and thus not worthy of my time. But then I realized I was spending time in the Old Testament and mainly because it does inform me about my world and as such is worthy of my time.
It was then when I realized I was a hypocrite.
Why, I wonder, am I willing to bridge the divide between my life in 2016 A.D. and the events of 700 B.C. but not willing to bridge the divide between my life in the comfortable world in which I live and the uncomfortable lives of those people living just a few miles away?
As usual, I wrote a poem…
Part of me wonders why I should concern myself with ancient cities in the Bible and their demise; Part of me wonders if I can learn anything from the history of the Israelites and their exile; Part of me wonders if I should just ignore what is on the pages of the Old Testament; Part of me wonders why I shouldn’t only focus on the events of the New Testament. But even if I don’t understand them I can learn from the fall of Babylon; Even if I don’t know how to relate to them their struggles in exile teach me about my own struggles with sin; Even if they are separated from me by time and space they are like me for we are all human; And even though they might be different from me in ways I can’t comprehend we are all created in the image of God. Part of me wonders why I should concern myself with race riots and oppression of people unlike me; Part of me wonders if I can learn anything from the history of the black people’s struggle; Part of me wonders if I should just ignore what is happening in a world that I am not a part of; Part of me wonders why I shouldn’t only focus on what is going on in my own little world. But even if I don’t understand them I can learn to love the oppressed people of today; Even if I don’t know how to relate to them I can partake in their struggles by taking the time to listen; Even if they are separated from me by time and space we are the same and I would want to be treated with respect; And even though they might be different from me in ways I can’t comprehend we are all the children of God. When will we understand that the only divide is between God and man not color or race or gender; When will we understand that we are not better than anyone else and need to help each other; When will we understand that love is sacrifice and until we sacrifice we do not love; When will we understand that God came to man to bridge the divide and likewise the movement must come from privilege to oppressed. When will we understand… When will I understand…?
Image used by permission from Ryan Segedi. He can be found online at ryansegedi.com