The Case Against Oppression

“…And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera…And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he (Sisera) had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel…” (Judg. 4:2-3).

When God allows us to ascend into positions of authority, it does not give us the right to become the oppressors of other people. Throughout the Bible, we observe various situations wherein God came to the rescue of the needy and oppressed. This was the case even when His chosen people became the oppressors of others as well.

Some Congolese soldiers who have renounced its oppressive regime and have become Christians. However, many of them still embrace some of the oppressive practices of vengeful retaliation.

The truth is that when God gave dominion to humanity over all of His creation, this was not inclusive of having dominion over other human beings (Gen. 1:28). It definitely did not include dominating them either. Those placed in positions of authority serve the purpose of ensuring that righteousness, justice and peace is extended to every person within the human community (Rom. 13:1-4).

Once these boundaries have been violated, the results are the numerous oppressive regimes we have witnessed throughout human history and still continue to see in today’s global society. This is an example of the abuse (abnormal use) of dominion and authority granted to us that was given to ensure that all of creation would live in harmony. It disrupts the balance between humanity and creation, but most importantly, between God and humanity. It causes God’s intended purpose to be disregarded and unfulfilled until the oppression is defeated by acts of righteousness and justice, which results in peace (Mic. 1-6).

The map above shows the types of government within recognized nation-states around the world.

The annual Freedom in the World Report stated that of the more than two hundred recognized nation-states in the world, forty-nine of those nation-states are “not free”. The report also mentioned that “…Seventy-one have reported net declines in political rights and civil liberties, and thirty- five reporting capital gains”. According to the report, “This marks the twelfth consecutive year of decline in global freedom”. The forty-nine nation-states mentioned above are represented by authoritarian-type governments, which strongly limits the rights and liberties granted to their citizens. This, however, is in contrast to how God designed us and intended for human interaction to take place.

What must be realized is that there will never be an oppressive regime that will not or cannot be overturned. At some point, those walls of oppression must come down. God will not tolerate the domination of His creation by another member of His creation for long. It will not be long before He raises up someone or some group of people to bring the oppression to an end.

How can a true believer in God’s Kingdom principles walk away from suffering and injustice with a clear conscience?

In the final analysis, we must not forget that this mandate to implement and maintain justice, righteousness and peace is not limited only to those in positions of authority. As members of the God’s Kingdom, this Kingdom mandate applies to each one of us as well. God expects us to be active representatives of His Kingdom in our daily interactions with His creation. This includes all of humanity as well.

As we continue to study God’s Word and seek His heart through prayer, He will reveal how He wants us to respond to all forms of injustices. This is what Jesus meant when He prayed, “…Thy Kingdom come…Thy will be done…here in earth as it is in Heaven…” (Mt. 6:10). For us to turn away from any form of injustice is antithetical to what His Kingdom represents. In the end, we will give an account for any action of lack action on our part. How we will respond when this comes?

Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”

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