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Monday, 14 February 2011


This is television as it should be, well, for a fleeting moment at least: Adrian Chiles quoting the Bible on ITV (That Sunday Night Show 13/02/2011 - there for six more days).  OK, the context was that in a 2008 survey, over a quarter of people attributed a word from the Bible to Bob Geldof, who was the final guest on the show.  This was the word, as quoted by Mr Chiles:

'You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope. Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless.' (Proverbs 31:8-9)
The other guests, Jack Dee, Natasha Kaplinsky and Duncan Bannatyne, thought that was from Bob Geldof, which was interesting.  Bob then said jokingly that he wrote the book of Proverbs.  Actually, God wrote it. 

And what about this one: Rise up, this matter is in your hands.  We will support you so take courage and do it (Ezra 10:4)  (The King James Version says: 'Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.')  Again, the guests thought Bob.  But it's Bible.

The final quote was about Russell Brand and was vulgar and ungracious.  Yes, that was Sir Bob.

When Theos did the survey, its then director, Paul Woolley, said: "The issue of global poverty and injustice is a major concern to a majority of people in society.  It is encouraging to see that 52% of people rightly think that the Bible offers more teaching on this subject than hell, adultery and homosexuality.
"However, there are clearly some important challenges to the Christian community contained within these findings.  The fact that people confuse the Bible and a speech by Bob Geldof is intriguing, but the fact that 42% of people disagree that the Bible champions the cause of the poor and marginalised demonstrates a significant degree of biblical illiteracy and the need for the Christian community to model the emphases of its sacred text more clearly."

That's right, Paul, but some who are hard-hearted against Jesus will never get it.  We need to remember that the Lord Jesus gave more warnings about hell and sexual morality than about the poor and that homosexuals are not among the 'marginalised', they are today among the oppressors, but you are right that there is a lot of anti-Biblical ignorance out there.

Here are some more Bible verses from the book of Proverbs (KJV), ending with Prov 31:8-9, just to make the point that God requires justice for all and cares especially for the poor and dispossessed:

Prov. 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Prov. 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
Prov. 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
Prov. 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Prov. 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
Prov. 22:9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
Prov. 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
Prov. 22:22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
Prov. 22:23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
Prov. 23:10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
Prov. 23:11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
Prov. 28:3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
Prov. 28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
Prov. 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Prov. 28:6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Prov. 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Prov. 28:10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
Prov. 28:15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
Prov. 28:16 The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
Prov. 28:17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
Prov. 28:18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
Prov. 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
Prov. 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
Prov. 29:14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.
Prov. 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
Prov. 31:8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Prov. 31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Ezra, of course, helped re-establish Jerusalem at the command of the Persian king Artaxerxes, who told him:
Ezra 7:25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.
26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

Even today, any nation that follows the laws of God will enjoy peace and prosperity, and the poor will be looked after a lot better than by today's bunch of self-interest career politicians passing laws on their own authority.  Nevertheless, we must pray for them:

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Romans. 13:3 Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power (ie the ruler)? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

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