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Tuesday: Slaves, Widows, Fatherless, Foreigners — 13 Comments

  1. Today's lesson touches on one of the issues that we should return to several times this quarter. Part of the issue is that so much slavery passes under the radar because it is hidden by society. Here are a couple of examples:

    In Australia, there is a franchise culture where people are locked into a franchise that they cannot make a living wage from. Australian workers are protected by minimum wage laws but people running franchised businesses often extract huge fees from their workers so they effectively underpay them.

    Overseas workers can come into Australia on special work visas, typically fruit-picking and crop harvesting. Usually, Pacific Islanders are involved because they get paid a lot more than they would get in their home islands. They are a ready source of workers. (some of them are Seventh-day Adventists and turn up in our churches in fruit and crop growing areas) However, some of the agencies who find the jobs for them provide substandard accommodation and charge exorbitant fees that all too frequently absorbed much of the money these workers are paid.

    In our modern world, it is all too easy to exploit others by special work permits, off-shore manufacturing, and so on. I know enough about economics to know that some of the solutions proposed by politicians are over-simplistic and indeed naive.

    In this climate, what can a Seventh-day Adventist do? Are these issues something that should concern us, or are they a distraction from our message about the second coming of Jesus? It is worth noting that throughout both the Old and New Testament, one of the most consistent messages from the prophets was that God's people had neglected and exploited the needy. Is it possible that we are fixated on the eternal that we neglect the temporal?

    • People in need we can find anywhere. It's a matter of looking around. Sometimes we are so focused on our own survival (work!) that we do not see what's happening right by us. When we stop and pay a little attention, we will certainly find someone out of our social circle that is there "just for us" to help. "It is by giving that we receive the most"!

    • There are so many forms of slavery. One of them not often mentioned is spiritual slavery. Perhaps because it may be seen as voluntary, it is not considered. Powerful and convincing persons who enslave the mind, coupled with sincere believers fill many compounds with people who believe they are serving God. People who have given up everything to join a person(s) they believe is their superior in reaching God. Sometimes it is the very message of the Second Coming of Christ that sparks their devotion to unite with like minds and move out of the mainstream. Some for the rest of their lives.

    • Thanks for this information Maurice. I have however, always maintained that we could also look closer home.For instance how do we treat those in our employment ? If we employ any house help or mother's help,do they work decent hours and get paid a decent salary ? And, if we allow them to attend church services with us,is it still their task to look after our little ones whilst we sit listening to the sermon whilst we sit listening to the sermon with piously folded hands ? Is it still their task to do the dishes after Sabbath lunch as well as see that the kids are fed ? I think these are also forms of slavery when we withhold a Sabbath rest from these who are in our service..."within our gates"(Ex 20:10 )And I can assure you that I have witnessed some of these forms of slavery among Adventists.

  2. My wife grew up fatherless. She remembers stories of good and bad that had happened in her life.
    She studied nursing and she did not have any money to bring her mother to the graduation.
    Having heard the need the doctor whom she worked with gave her the money to bring her mother.

    After finishing diploma in nursing she wanted to continue her study into BS in nursing. She needed the signature from Director of Nursing to continue her study. The Director of Nursing stated, poor girls should not have dreams of studying further. They should get married and settle in life.

    My wife is a very positive person. She took his advise and got ready for marriage.

    For me this man is a prophet. Because of him, I was able to meet my wife and get married. When the Director of Nursing came to USA my wife was able to invite him to our house and thank him for his prophetic words.

    It is purely the mercy of God that has brought her life to be where she is today.
    She gave a message at the Friday vesper about the mercy of God.
    Not one person was left without tear.

    For those of you struggling, God is the adversary. He will surely visit and wipe away the tears.

    For those who are wondering what am I doing:
    Taking small actions will feel insignificant the results will come.

  3. 🔵 EGW comments on today's lesson..

    "Christians are not excusable for permitting the widow’s cries and the orphan’s prayers to ascend to Heaven because of their suffering want while a liberal Providence has placed in the hands of these Christians abundance to supply their need."

    📌 "Let not the cries of the widow and fatherless call down the vengeance of Heaven upon us as a people. In the professed Christian world there is enough expended in extravagant display, for jewels and ornaments, to supply the wants of all the hungry and clothe the naked in our towns and cities; and yet these professed followers of the meek and lowly Jesus need not deprive themselves of suitable food or comfortable clothing."

    📌 "What will these church members say when confronted in the day of God by the *worthy poor, the afflicted, the widows and fatherless, who have known pinching want for the meager necessities of life, while there was expended by these professed followers of Christ, for superfluous clothing and needless ornaments expressly forbidden in the Word of God, enough to supply all their wants?" (Welfare Ministry, pp. 216, 217)

    🔴 Somebody in my church/community is praying for my help today..what am I waiting on??*

    Have a blessed day people!

  4. The greatest calamity of humanity is having a capitalistic mind as this mindset bears at most a selfish mindset which leads to owners of firms to great lengths in amassing great wealth through exploitation of the poor n the disadvantaged.

     the unquenchable thirst for attaining a lofty position in the society often blinds the owners of firms to the needs of their employees. This thirst more often than not, it is the source of all these ills we face in the society.

     as l stand n gaze at the world around us, I can't help but wonder how we humans have sunken so low to the point of neglecting the fatherless and the widows. Instead of helping them, we prey upon them, We exploit and abuse them but forewarned is forearmed for God shall not keep silent. The day of visitation shall come. Your wealthy will be a testimony against thee.

    And Today's lesson is beautifully described in the words of a song by Bette Midler. The song titled from a distance n here is part of the lyrical content of the song:

    "... From a distance we all have enough
    And no one is in need
    And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
    No hungry mouths to feed

    From a distance we are instruments
    Marching in a common band
    Playing songs of hope
    Playing songs of peace
    They are the songs of every man

    God is watching us
    God is watching us
    God is watching us from a distance..."

    Surely those lyrics are powerful. God is watching us. For from a distance we are just instruments for the Most High but instead we traded our soul for the riches of this world n we are now but instruments in the hands of the enemy.

    May God help us 

  5. Maurice, the real world as you depicted, is factual. We have a plethora of examples at our own doorsteps. Greed
    is a culture that drives people every where. The USA is definitely not immune. We as Seventh day Adventist Christians have a duty to love God, one another and our brothers. I have personal problem with an institution that is the ultimate definition of greed, and has gone bankrupt. While off the original subject above, I believe that Prayer to a merciful God is the help we need. I know I do each day.

  6. I didn't grow up witg my Mum,,I know the bad and good times i went through,,I missed so many opportunities because at home i lacked freedom of speech,,I was denied the education i was supposed to get for my Mum wasn't there to fight for me and many other things
    Iwould like to be a good mother to my Step-children, it is not easy but with God everything is possing,,and i can do everything because of God who gives me strength

  7. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." ~ Romans 13:10
    therefore as seventh-day Adventist we must learn how to show love,care and affection to Slaves, Widows, Fatherless and even Foreigners just as Christ did for us by dying on the cross for our sins.

  8. In North America, a few Adventists in the 1800s were willing to act for oppressed black people as social and political activists, but to this day the majority have turned a blind eye to the oppression and injustice practiced against indigenous peoples and those of Hispanic and African descent. This dereliction of Christian duty was and is justified by platitudes about not wanting to be political.

    Helping and working for the oppressed will always be political because it threatens the social and economic status quo, but the Christian is called to be his brother’s keeper and to speak the Truth in love. There will always be political consequences for doing what is right. That is seen clearly in the spectacle of Christ on the cross.


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