Wednesday, October 16, 2013

God Crushes Leaders by Waterfall!

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

Leadership Will Be

Crushed By A Waterfall


We Currently Feel the Failure of Leadership in the United States.
How does that compare to Hosea's day?

The leaders addressed in today's verse could be considered the secular leaders of a nation not yet standing under final judgment. Of course, they could also refer to the leaders of the non-prostitute congregations, but since in Western culture thievery marks the prostituted leaders that claim to be Christian rather than most leaders of faithful congregations, I believe the clearest application is a word to the secular leaders, especially in America.

“The leaders of Judah have become like thieves.
    So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall.
Hosea 5:10

In America it is clear that the leaders of our Congress and even our Presidents have enacted laws that have allowed themselves to be enriched.


(lifetime pensions and healthcare, legislators immune from prosecution for insider trading based on what they learn in the course of their duties, laws that permit the rich to further enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and even the middle class, etc.).

Even following the collapse of our economy due to the financial institutions pushing the limits into abusive practices, the few regulations enacted to curb such evil have merely resulted in the top three percent of our citizens taking an even higher percentage of the gross national income than they had before the recession. Not only that but the bottom ninety seven percent have seen their medium income actually fall. The gape between the have's and have not's has grown wider that ever before.

The worker is not getting the wages due. In fact wages have generally dropped. And where they have not dropped for specific positions, the preponderance of new jobs, and many former jobs, have become part time low paying positions in order to ensure the profit margins of the rich. This too is thievery.

Business leaders then, in line with the message of this passage, are also among the leaders who have become thieves.

However, the literal translation of thieves is telling. It means to move the boundary stones. Boundary stones marked the property lines in Judah. The princes of Judah were stooping so low as to move the boundary markers in order to increase their land and profits.

Moving God's boundary stones has become the pastime of many governments and wealthy classes in the world. It has become an epidemic in capitalistic societies. Having discovered the limits of wealth making within a free market economy, the governments and wealthy classes created new boundaries and removed old ones.

Now I know that the examples I am going to cite can be mentally defended. Many have come to have such a lock on the shape of our economy that to go back to the old godly boundaries would indeed collapse the economy because if the wealthy classes no longer have sifting sand to build on, their ways of life and business would disappear and pull us all down with them.

What are some of the new boundaries that fall outside the foundations set by God?


The insurance industry. As a segment of our economy this group is significant. It not only sells a product that replaces trusting in God and helping our neighbors in time of need, it has established practices and promoted laws that minimize the risk they take on and ensure their solvency even in a major disaster. In other words, in the name of insuring our risk, they skim off more money than than they will ever lose. They are traders in tragedies getting rich on the workers and citizens upon whom God knows tragedy will never fall. If we the people and organizations would set aside that same money in benevolence funds within God's churches, when disaster occurs the church would have the funds to do all that the insurance companies currently do and even more left over to help the poor, the widows, the aliens, and others God has asked us to care for.

Indeed the insurance industry has created a straw house that enriches many at the expense of the majority and that has replaced God's intended means of taking care of disaster victims and the poor. The churches have even embraced the industry glad to have God's burden of grace and love removed from our shoulders. What was removed with it was the expression of love and care for all mankind that was the greatest generator of new converts in the early church. No longer is it easy to say, "Behold how they love one another." Therefore people are not inspired to seek the source of our unnatural love and care for our fellow man.

Now that analysis can be applied to other economic structures that have created new boundaries and removed God's intended economy of life.

Two even clearer examples are the stock and commodities markets. The way the stock markets work is light years away from their original intended purposes of providing shared ownership with a mechanism of distributing the profits from the companies thus shared. Now the value of stocks can not even remotely be tied to actual income received through dividends. Dividends do not drive the stock markets, gambling on prices of the stocks themselves has become the main pillar of trade. So the stock market has produced an artificial economy that is not based on real work or earned profits from that work. Profitable companies are  bought and gutted, even shuttered, in order to increase the value of other stocks and transactions. None of that is remotely godly. All of it represents thievery in God's eyes and produces the same evil results as thievery in the lives of individuals and nations. Just remember how many billions of dollars have been lost from people's retirement funds while the highest paid investment leaders, and even workers, have increased their personal wealth. Follow the wealth transfer and the connection to thievery becomes clear.

Our system of financial institutions which control investments, interest, and the availability of money also fall into the category of thievery when measured biblically. But never mind, they will tell you, those old ways promoted by scripture - both the law and the words of Christ - don't apply in our world. Usury, the name given in the Bible, is still usury and still results in dishonest gain. That has been God's concern all along. It still falls hardest upon the poor and middle classes a fact God condemned. And as for God's mandate that those who lend money do so without interest, well that just seems crazy. That could never support the banking system or the government debt, etc. Yes, most financial systems would not exist if we made sure that lending of money did not hurt those who receive the loan. How is it that we can justify foreclosures that make people homeless or enslave them to poverty when we do not provide the means to earn a living wage and refuse to given generously enough to prevent people from slipping into poverty, generously enough to lift people from poverty.

Nor have I talked about fair trade, government bureacracies, and other systems which have become means of theivry instead of servants of the people and purveyors of God's economy. Moving jobs from country to country to take advantage of the poverty which drives people to work for less than a living wage is a pure form of evil. Doing so to evade laws that promote safety, compassion, and honesty rates among the lowest of the low forms of sinful greed. Surely, you can think of other examples.

And what is God's guaranteed judgment of those who participate in this theft?


They will be crushed by his waterfall of judgement!

Photo Credits:

Beware sign Some rights reserved by OakleyOriginals
Iguazu waterfalls, Argentina Some rights reserved by alobos

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