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From the minister’s study

Forgive me if it seems that I am touching on one of those no no subjects – politics. I only do so to make a general observation.
We all have thoughts on what we would like our government to do and how they should do it. We also, generally speaking, complain a lot about them and perhaps believe politicians at best to be in it for themselves or at worst corrupt. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true of them with many working hard for their constituents.
It is through my bible reading notes for today that I am prompted to share these thoughts which arise from one verse in particular. This is it – 2 Samuel 8:15 (ANIV) “David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.”
‘Whether they be democracies, dictatorships, or military juntas or any other type of government, how many countries do we know for which those words can be said of their rulers? The praises they are given as they come into office soon fade and their approval ratings plummet as the promises they make fail to materialise. Sadly, even those who were known to be men or women of God often succumb to the temptations of power. Thank God for glorious exceptions such as King David.
David sought out the family of his faithful friend and what he found was not auspicious. Jonathan’s only son was lame and living, it would seem, on the charity of some caring friend. Ziba, whose job was to manage the family estate of the late king, had a large retinue of servants to assist in the task. However, with 15 sons of his own to support, it would seem that he did not count the care of the lame prince among his responsibilities. He would later reveal himself as a dishonest, self-seeking opportunist by the way he abandoned his master in time of crisis.
One of the chief ways we recognise good government is how they look after the poor and disadvantaged members of society, saving them from exploiters such as Ziba. The fatherless and widows were protected under the Law given by the God of Israel. Indeed, this was a cardinal injunction to their rulers and one of the factors for which, again and again, he took them to task.
As we approach Easter we are reminded of Jesus who was, during his life, criticised time and again for spending time with the poor & needy seeking to meet their needs. In the context of poverty of spirit we can also be included but sadly we often fail to recognise our own need of his help.
Perhaps that can lead too to a lack of compassion towards those with greater needs and, like Ziba whom I mentioned a moment ago, we do not see them as our responsibility.
Under God it is both ours & that of our government and I leave you with another verse followed by some questions.

‘All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.’ Words of St Paul after being questioned by other disciples of Jesus.
Does this describe your own life? That is, not just remember but make some kind of contribution to their needs.
Are you thanking God, or are you praying, for just and equitable government in our country right now?

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