“On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord, those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”-Zephaniah 3:9-13
I am going to start a little series within this series of Deuteronomy; we are at the point where Moses is finished recounting what all has taken place and will transition into giving the Law and exhorting the second generation of Israel to go into Canaan and accept God’s promise. So let us take a few posts to look back and remember Israel as an oppressed people, then let us look forward to the oppressed Israel as Jesus found it when He walked the earth. The oppression discussed will be systematic oppression as we understand it today by definition. In this series we will explore how God ordained and brought about Israel’s oppression at the hands of the Egyptians and His sovereignty over oppression. We will next dive into Israel’s response to their oppression under Egyptian rule, as they wandered the desert, and under Roman rule. We will dive into Jesus’ response to Israel’s oppression as well as Israel’s response to Jesus in their oppression.
I am going down this road because all around me in this country is an oppression that is both real and saturating. The oppression is recognized but within a limited scope and with certain presuppositions that are neither biblical nor unifying. I see division growing within the Church as God’s people respond to their oppression in much the same way Israel did. It seems to me prudent to develop a theology of suffering under oppression as well as what I believe can be a Biblical and God-honoring approach to this suffering that will both unite the body and display the Gospel to the world and as a consequence, wage war against the oppression that we see around us.
But the first step through any of this is to remember what God has done, for it is by remembering that we are able to repent and turn to Christ. It is through remembering that we are humbled and see rightly. So let us cast aside our foolish rage and remember God’s work and what He has promised us.
Christ is King.