Thought for the day – Monday 15 June

Thought for the day - Monday 15 June

Dear All

Last night, early morning, I sat and watched on TV a programme, ‘Who killed Jeffrey Epstein?’ It was a disturbing and revealing documentary about the lifestyle and exploits of a man who befriended, duped and abused many he came in contact with, men, women and young girls. All this over many years, and all with seeming impunity. His apparent ‘above the law status’ caused and still causes many to question how all this could have happened. Many in positions of power have serious questions to answer and will need to answer if justice is to be done. Justice will be done!

Among Mr Epstein’s friends were many famous personages who seem now to be suffering from severe bouts of amnesia even when faced with photographic evidence. The amnesia sufferers have ‘forgotten’ too that they were ‘dealing’ with real people, young vulnerable people, all with feelings and emotions. Amnesia, it appears, can make you think that people are no more than nameless disposable items of no particular value.

Any human being given the means, motive and opportunity are capable of committing just about any crime imaginable. To establish a crime these three ‘elements’ have to be present and in Mr Epstein’s case, they were. My reason for speaking about him today, Epstein that is, has nothing to do with any personal interest I have in him but rather because he, though deceased, is in the news, and will be in the news, for some time to come. The coronavirus has not stopped the pursuit of justice for the ruined and discarded lives of his victims/survivors.

A frequent theme throughout the Old Testament is the treatment of the downtrodden, ie those who are most vulnerable, the homeless, the widow, the orphan and the poor. God looks for his people to consider them and not abuse them. They have a special place in God’s heart, God will not allow them to be overlooked. Today’s reading tells us that.

The ill-treatment of the poor at the hands of the arrogant, ruthless and exploitative rich and powerful do not go unnoticed by the Lord. The proud, selfish and arrogant think that God himself can also be ignored but will soon realise that God will require them to account for their deeds.

Exploitation, slavery, trafficking, ill-treatment of any kind, and injustice are all unacceptable in our society. Sadly, it seems that we have not listened or at least paid heed to the teachings such as we read in our passage today.

In view of what is happening around the world, what can we learn from our passage about the Lord, our world politics, justice, our dealings with and our treatment of one another?

Today I ask you to think/meditate on these things.

God bless you!

Jim

JBoag@churchofscotland.org.uk

PSALM 10

Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.

He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”

Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.

The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

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