Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"The Righteous Care About Justice for the Poor"

Proverbs 29:7 – The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

The Hebrew word translated as “righteous” is tsaddı̂yq (pronounced tsad-deek'). It literally means just, justified or lawful (in this case, obedient to God’s law). The Hebrew word translated as “wicked” in this verse is râshâ‛ (pronounced raw-shaw'). Though râshâ‛ is translated as wicked in a number of the Old Testament passages, it is also often translated as “condemned” or “ungodly”.

As forceful as these words were when Solomon first wrote them, they are even more so when translated in the light of the New Testament. The righteous person who cares about justice for the poor is the one who has laid aside ego and picked up his cross to follow Jesus wherever he goes... even into the hood or the barrio. The person who has “no concern” for the poor is the râshâ‛, the ungodly one who is eternally condemned.

It amazes me that so many professing Christians in our state and national legislatures can ignore warnings like this in Scripture as they hurry to dismantle or severely cut programs that provide formula for hungry new born babies and adequate health care for permanently disabled veterans in order to pay for the tax cuts requested by their corporate sponsors.