I share my home with three dogs, two cats, a conure parrot, and of course, my dear husband. The dogs are so much fun, and can be a challenge as well.
Kelly is an 11 year old Setter that we brought home almost two years ago when her owner was in a terrible car accident and would be in the hospital for half a year. Bo is our purebred yellow lab puppy, almost 7 months old, that we purchased, because we were denied adopting since Kelly was never spayed. And Jersey is a 6 month old puppy we got about 3 weeks ago, from a friend who couldn’t keep her, and she is the new kid on the block. All three are house dogs, although Kelly lived outdoors for the 9 years before she came home with us.
There is always plenty of food for our dogs. No one ever goes hungry. We monitor them as they eat to make sure that they each get their own food. One day I noticed Jersey was hesitant to come to her food bowl. I moved it to the other side of the room, and she proceeded to eat. Kelly gave her a growl and started toward her. Jersey ran to the living room. I told Kelly, “No. Its Jersey’s food. You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.” I brought Kelly back to her dish, and coaxed Jersey back to hers. I stood by Jersey while she ate, and for the next few days to make sure this didn’t happen again. (I always talk to my pets as though they are humans who understand everything I say.)
But as I stood by Jersey, I thought about what I said. You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.” For some reason, it really struck me. I thought about humanity, and how so many people are trying to do this all the time.
Why are people trying to take away things from others that they did not give them? If I look at the teachings of the Bible, I see that oppression is a recurring theme in the things that God tells us NOT to do.
God tells us over and over again that oppression is wrong.
Psalm 9:9 “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
Zechariah 7:10 “Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Jeremiah 5:25-29 “ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. ‘Shall I not punish them for these things?’ declares the Lord, ‘and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?’”
Whoa! That last one! It makes me think of religion and politics, and how these evil men, these wicked souls, have turned so many away from the words of Jesus. How many so called Christians do you know who have been lured into this deceit? By reading the red letters in the Bible; you know, the words of Jesus; we can see that much of American “Christianity” is not Christian at all. It is no longer following the words of Jesus. This American Christianity does not follow Jesus at all. Instead, it operates on fear. It’s trying to make us afraid. It wants you be afraid of anyone who is not like you. It wants you to be afraid that someone is going to steal your money and your privilege, and all the other treasures you have hoarded here on earth.
But God tells us to not fear over 80 times in the Bible. Fear is the tool of evil. If your religion is all about fear, then it is not following God. If your church tells you to fear everything, then it does not preach the words of God. Inciting fear in God’s people is how many so called religious leaders try to control and exploit their followers. By doing this, they have become rich. Look around! How many mega-million preachers are there? Everyone of them should be ashamed.
But they are not allowed to take away what they didn’t give. When God gives us rules and guidelines, who are these people to try to convince us that they know better than God? They try to take away our faith, our hope, and our promise from God that He will take care of us, that He will prosper us and give us hope, and a future. He also has a stern warning for those people in Matthew 25:41-46: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So, who are you going to fear? Man? Our rich politicians who are following their own made-up religion centered around money? Or God? You see, God made you. God is one who gave you everything. And He who gives, can also take away. For naked you came from your mother’s womb, and naked you shall return. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Thank you to Bible Gateway for the Bible verses I cut and pasted, all in ESV.