I am sure that I was not the only one who was completely shocked and sickened by the report that Four Corners aired recently on the ABC about the treatment of young people in detention in the Northern Territory (WARNING: this link contains images and links to other media that might be distressing for some people and particularly children).
How could this kind of thing occur in our own country? In a first world, developed country? In a country that has signed the UN Convention for the rights of children and has signed the convention against torture? In a country that supposedly cares for, values and protects children and their human rights?
Whilst these kind of events (including our treatment of people seeking asylum in our nation) are obviously horrifying to us on a human level, these kind of injustices deeply grieve our God who loves and values all people unconditionally, irrespective of their nationally, gender, age or background. God loves each one of his children equally and passionately and wants them to be treated with dignity and respect.
I was reminded of God's desire for justice as I read Psalm 82:3-4 (ESV) the other day:
3 "Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
These words are a mandate given by God to those who are called to oversee, govern and lead a nation - in this case it was referring to the leaders of Israel at the time (either Israelite or Gentile leaders) but this call is just as applicable to those who are positioned to lead our nation today.
Our leaders - before God - have a responsibility to give justice to the weak and the fatherless. They have a responsibility to maintain the rights of the afflicted and the destitute. Our leaders are to rescue the weak and the needy. Our leaders are expected to deliver people from the hand of the wicked.
These kinds of things break God's heart as he is a God who wants people to be treated with the justice and dignity that they deserve. After all... every single human being is created in the image of God!
We have the privilege - in our nation at least - of being able to encourage, urge and challenge our government to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect. Perhaps you might like to write a letter to make a stand against the treatment of children in detention? Perhaps you might like to pray specifically for this issue?
Whatever you decide to do the Bible is clear: all people are created in the image of God, all people are valuable to God, and God desires for all people to be treated justly, with love and respect. Let's join with God and make a stand against this injustice occurring in our nation!
Posted on Fri, August 12, 2016
by Joel Hawting filed under