29 Nov Starvation Deaths, Genocide, Counsel to the Ruler
Selfishness of man makes the forests disappear. So rain decreases, drying up water bodies. Agricultural fields get converted to flats and factories, hence food production decreases. In the cities which are “Concrete Jungles”, the rain water is unable to seep into the ground, so it makes its way to the sea; as a result the ground water dries up. The result is man-made famine and starvation.
We are in the days when all of a sudden some people become rich. We often hear these words, ”money is not the problem”.
Yes, during a weekend, thousands of rupees are spent on a meal. It is just to take a break from the routine. Many are not aware of the fact that, the same amount spent on partying is enough for a poor family’s food for a month. Credit goes to the commonly available liquor which leads to the poor family’s financial crisis and early death of the bread winner. So, many youth become school drop outs. Our extra wealth can help such underprivileged for their education.
A saying from Chennai: “What is earned from Monday to Friday in the OMR gets drained out on the weekend in the ECR”.
OMR – Old Mahabalipuram Road – filled with IT companies
ECR – East Coast Road – Beaches, Resorts, Eateries, Entertainment Parks
But a slave, Joseph who was in jail gives advice to his ruler to save the excess food and distribute it to the needy during the famine years. It reminds us of the saying of Jesus Christ, “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” John 6:12.
Joseph, the favorite son of the father becomes a slave in another country at seventeen, the prime of his youth. By false accusation by a temptress he ends up in jail. His teens and twenties were under bondage, but the Lord was with Joseph – Gen. 39:2,3,9,21,23. Fulfilling the plan of God, at the age of 30, in the matter of a few minutes, Joseph becomes the ruler of the same country where he was a slave – Genesis 41; Psalm 105:16-22.
Filled with the wisdom of God, Joseph guides the King and saves Egypt, other nations, and his own family from death by starvation.
As Evangelical students and graduates, we think, “I am comfortable with my Church, EU/EGF fellowship and my studies /job.“ God scorns at such people who live in their comfortable cocoons. If you remain as cocoons beyond the given time, you will remain a worm and die without any use for the world.
If Joseph was an evangelical Christian and declines to the King the position of a ruler saying, “I don’t like politics,” he would have missed God’s great plan.
Genesis 15:13, “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.”
Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
We have to grow out of the cocoon stage and fly as butterflies. We have to get involved in the social problems and by the wisdom of God we can bring abundance. We have to share our resources with the needy. Otherwise, we will be like Sodom.
“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. “Ezekiel 16:49
Genocide continues in the history of mankind. People groups want to eliminate each other, infuriated by the divisions of caste, language, colour, religion, and place. Between 1941 to 1945, during the “Holocaust”, Hitler killed six million Jews.
A similar genocide was plotted by a wicked minister and it became the King’s verdict. In this situation, Esther, who was a slave girl turned queen, risked her life and prevents a Jewish genocide.
Before doing this, she had some hesitation. At that time, like a thunder comes to her in the warning of Mordecai:
Esther 4:14, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Yes, our studies, position, possessions, money, and comforts – all these come from the Lord – James 1:17. (If you think even for a moment that you have all these because of your smarts, family background, your own knowledge and efforts, read Deut. 8:17 and Dan. 4:30).
God wants to use your position and resources for the welfare of others, for the Lord’s ministry, for the good of your society. If we keep adding in a selfish way house after house, gold after gold, and live just for our own families, we will not escape punishment. After all, we are not going to carry our wealth with us after death!
God wants us to be sensitive to the problems of the society around us. We cannot close our eyes to the atrocities that happen around us. Keeping our mouth shut when we have to speak is sin.
Proverbs 24:11,12, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this, ”Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?”
Proverbs 31:8,9, “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
When we sit in the Committees and the Board Meetings and plan activities, do we listen to the voice of our God given conscience or take decisions to please people?
Galatians 1:10, ”For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
Counsel to the Ruler?
Because of the dream and ego of a King, all the wise men of the country faced the verdict of being killed. Daniel was a young man born in a royal family but taken as a Prisoner of War to the enemy country. Because of his bold stand for God’s standards, he got God’s favor and revelation. He tells the dream and the meaning to the king. As a result, all the wise men escape. Daniel becomes a counsel in the palace during the rule of six consecutive kings – Daniel 1:21.
We as the children of God have to be like Daniel in discerning the events of the times. We have to qualify ourselves as counselors to the people of high authority. How many of us take efforts to positions like IAS? Or we are satisfied to be a Clerk all our lives? Do we encourage our students to aspire for greater positions in the Government?
“I don’t bother if Ram rules or Ravana rules.”–Children of God should not have this kind of lethargic attitude. We should choose our careers, keeping in mind the welfare of the society, and not just for our belly’s sake or for money.
There is nothing wrong in going for job to the Western and Middle East Countries. BUT on what basis we decide it matters. Others go for money and comforts. But for a child of God, if it is only for money, comforts and facilities, you can miss God’s best for you and regret later. God’s children must know the mind of Christ and take up jobs that serve people.
We talk much about these Biblical Heroes – Joseph, Esther and Daniel, who made great impact in the Non Jewish countries – in our context, amidst the people of other faiths. As a result, the rulers acknowledge the power of the Lord – Gen. 41:38,39; Daniel 2:47; 3:28; 4:34-37; 5:14; :16,26,27.
Cornelius, a Roman officer was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” Acts 10:2.
The Lord reveals Himself to him and to his people. God sends Peter to break the barrier of the “Jews” and “Others” and to share the Good News. Acts 10:38, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” How about us today?
Tabitha was making dresses and giving to the needy. Acts 9:36, “This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.” The Lord raises her up from death through Peter – Acts 9:42 “And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. “
James 1:27,”Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
James 2:15 – 17, ” If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
The Mission Statement of UESI is to bring students to Christ so that they will “Serve the Church and Society”. Is it carried out by us? The Lord has called us to be the Light of the World and Salt of the Earth. Is our life fulfilling this call? What is our impact in the Society today?
Can we make some decision to start this today?
UESI Field Partner, Chennai. He and his wife Sasi Jebaraj retired from UESI Staff Team. They have three married daughters.
This article is an adapted translation of the article, published in the UESI TN magazine TharisanaSudar, April 2021.
Post Script: From April 2021, India is facing a very severe onslaught of Covid. We have gone through the horror of losing people in our own known circles who were snapped away overnight. Their family members face terrible situations emotionally and economically. You and I are called to get into such situation and do all that we can by the grace and resources of God as individuals and as a fellowship.