As I draft this memo, it is the 48th Anniversary of Betsy and I performing as Guinevere and King Arthur in “Camelot” on the Chittenango HS stage. Last weekend we enjoyed the current High School players as they presented “Fiddler on the Roof” in thoroughly inspiring fashion. Fiddler speaks of the injustice of the treatment of Jews over a century ago in Russia and the challenges of a father to hold to tradition when life around him is changing at an accelerating rate. The crucial importance of faith and family shines through along with the virtue of endurance.
While Camelot was based on myth, its message was one that resonates with Scripture in one particular way. King Arthur in a thought exercise comes to the conclusion that the feudal culture was fundamentally flawed by a key assumption—“might IS right”. After a humorous trail of thought he modifies it to a new slogan “might FOR right” that initiates a new ethic. In the old ethic, whoever had the most power always won in any dispute. In the ethic justice and mercy were brought into the mix.
Our culture could use a dose of “might for right” thinking. Scripture has much to say to those with political, physical and financial might. Misuse of such powers is and has been widespread. In our Wednesday men’s group study we have discovered this theme repetitively in the prophet Isaiah’s messages of warning to God’s people, for example…
Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?
4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
or fall among the slain. Isaiah 10:1-4 (NIV)
Isaiah warns of a time of “reckoning” that would later take place as the Assyrians and Babylonians attacked and decimated first the Northern Kingdom and then Judah.
While these warnings broadcast to the nations, the application comes down to individual character. The injustices were perpetrated by some, ignored by others and facilitated systematically by legislation supported by the community as a whole.
Each of us have might, power or influence. God knows how we use it. We are called to influence with love for the benefit of others, particularly others who have limited means to benefit themselves. Jesus is our example. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6 (NIV) Are you using your might FOR right?
This weekend we continue our series through Jonah in chapter 2 as he faces the terrifying consequences of running from God.
Looking forward to seeing you!