By Christopher Simon
Sins That Cry Out to Heaven
“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 NIV
There are sins that cry out to heaven for justice. The slaughter of Abel by his brother Cain is the primordial example. A premeditated murder of one’s brother certainly cries out for justice.
The oppression of the Israelites in Egypt is another sin that cried to heaven, and throughout the Bible we see the oppression of the poor, of orphans and widows, and of refugees as sins that God is particularly inclined to avenge.
The Book of Exodus makes this principle explicit: “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.” (Exodus 22:21-24 NIV)
This is a moral exhortation that is all too relevant today, when millions of refugees have no place to call home and widows and orphans are all around us. Ask yourself who in your community fits the bill of the widow, the orphan or the foreigner. We might call them by different names, i.e., single mothers, or undocumented immigrants, or the homeless and working poor, but these people are God’s children, and they have a special place in His heart.