Pastors, politicians, judges, lawyers, business people and leaders are addressed in a message [see below] released on social media today by Rev Chris Mathebula pastor of Hope Restoration Ministries.
His message simply comprises five Bible passages which command readers to defend the rights of the poor and needy, and warn against being unjust to the destitute.
Mathebula told Gateway News that God highlighted the Scriptures to him while he was praying.
“I think God wants us to pray over these [the five Bible passages] and to repent in this area — and it is a warning as well,” he said.
He said at the time he received the Scriptures he had been reflecting on corruption which had taken place over the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic when money meant for the destitute ended up in the wrong hands. He was also troubled by reports of corruption taking place involving the distribution of relief to flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I felt this [mistreatment of the poor] is a sin that we are committing as a nation against those who cannot defend themselves. And the Scripture is very clear that if we don’t defend these ones, the Lord Himself will definitely defend them.”
Mathebula said he believes that floods in the nation “are a warning sign — a call of repentance — from God to us” for “going astray”.
He said he feels the warning is especially relevant in KwaZulu-Natal where largescale looting erupted in July last year.
He said the Church, politicians, the legal profession and business people have all failed to defend the defenceless and are party to exploiting poor South Africans and foreigners in the country.
“Let us take a moment and make an introspection because everything rises and falls on leaders,” he said.
“If I could bring all these people [those addressed in his message] here and put them in one room I would actually say to them: ‘Let’s go down on our knees and ask God to forgive us because, all of us, we have not done what we are supposed to do to establish and build this nation.”
Below is the message Mathebula sent out today:
Message to: Pastors, politicians, Judges, Lawyers, Business people and Leaders.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. — Proverbs 31:8-9
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life. — Proverbs 22:22-23
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. 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? — Isaiah 10:1-3
Never take advantage of poor and destitute labourers, whether they are fellow Israelites [local] of a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they…are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin. — Deut 24:14-15
Lord have mercy on us!!!
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