A couple of years ago I was given a copy of Ancient Christian Devotional: A Year of Weekly Readings. I picked up the book again this last weekand read through a reflection on Exodus 17: 1-7 by Caesarius of Arles (470 – 543) It profoundly impacted me as I thought about what stirs my heart today. Do I really thirst for justice or am I satisfied with water? and if I do really thirst after justice how is that lived out in my life?
For what did the people Thirst? What then does the scripture mention in what follows? “In their thirst for water the people grumbled against Moses.” Perhaps this word that he said may seem superfluous, that the people thirsted for water. For since he said “In their thirst” what need was there to add “for water”? Thus indeed the ancient translation has it. Why did he add this, except because they thirsted for water when they should have thirsted for justice? “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice.” and again “thirsty is my soul for the living God.” Many people are thirsty, both the just and sinners, the former thirst after justice, the latter after dissipation. The just are thirsty for God; sinners for gold. For this reason the people thirsted after water when they should have thirsted after justice.
What Is Your Response?
What does your heart hunger and thirst for? Is it for God or for gold? Sit quietly for a few minutes and think about how you prioritize your use of time, talent and treasure. Allow the holy spirit of God to speak to you about your priorities. Are there changes God is prompting you to make in your life?
In Micah 6:8 we read
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV
It is one thing to talk about justice it is another to live it out in the everyday decisions of our lives. Acting justly means being concerned about the people who make our clothes, grow our food, build our houses. Making decisions about what and where we eat based on how people are treated is not always easy. Ethically produced, fair traded clothes and food are more expensive, and often more difficult to come by. Investing in unethical companies often brings bigger financial returns.
To live justly we must be willing to ask some hard questions about our daily decisions and commitments and it often means going against the values of our culture. Cheap is good could be the motto of our age.
What is your response?
Sit and think about the food and clothing you have bought over the last few months. . How did you make decisions about which products to purchase? How informed are you about the conditions under which these products are produced?Now prayerfully watch the video below. What changes might God be asking of you?