God raises a king to power and he will take him down. He is a fair and righteous judge and is most displeased with unrighteous judgement. As protests and demonstrations continue in Trinidad, I ask myself if we truly desire change or if this outcry will be as quickly forgotten as those in times past. Empathy is needed. Empty words are not needed. Are we willing to have the tough conversations and make worthwhile changes? Temporary solutions only bring long term pain.
How did we get here?
We find ourselves at the sad reality of hoping for a handout once more. It's a dangerous cycle we should not be comfortable with. In generations past, when God's chosen people cried out for freedom from the harsh rule of Pharaoh, God lifted up a ruler in Moses and delivered his people. Justice was served but the outcome was not what many expected. The result? Some of the same Israelites that cried for justice, practically begged to return to the tyranny of Pharaoh. It's quite easy to point the finger with clean hands. When reality sets in and we see that we're at the same fork in the road today, questions must be asked.
Do we want justice or a just outcome?
One appeals to the present while the other lasts a lifetime. The Israelites faltered as they trusted in their oppression. Our rational thinking minds can sometimes be irrational at best. A wicked man could be "good" for one moment and exercise some semblance of mercy. That outcome might be deemed just but the man may remain the same. A just God executes perfect judgement every single time. Only God can establish true justice as only God understands what true justice is.
The Israelites that saw Pharaoh as "not so bad after all", witnessed a leader thriving while executing bad judgement and became enamoured by it. They allowed their frustration to turn to envy rather than turning their frustration over to God. The result of a false balance.
When those at the highest level become respecters of persons they set a harmful example. An authority figure holds the balance of power. If they abuse this power, there is a chain reaction that goes all the way down to the "lower classes" of society. Fostering an environment of an abuse of power brings about just that - more abuse of power. Oppressed people in turn oppress more people.
Stand and be counted
We have to be willing to speak up when speaking is not popular. While protests might seem like the only way, these are designed to react after the fact of something taking place. Problems do not happen overnight. When issues are identified, we have to get to the root of the matter, dig these roots up and burn them away.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
If we are not willing to get to the root, that tree will grow again. This is how systematic issues become common. Do not place your faith in power that only appears to be power. Power that can be influenced and oppressed is not true power.
Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them
We can trust in the lesser of two evils or we can trust in God. When oppression and injustice reigns over a land, God looks for us to stand in the gap. He only needs one and it could be you. We can use our voices to tear each other down or to build each other up. We can point the finger or use those same fingers to dig ourselves out of the hole. We need each other and above all we need God to lead us.