The Cry of the Oppressed…

Notes taken from a very good read – Rob Bell’s “Jesus Wants to Save Christians”.

  • The first book of the Bible – Exodus?  No, but many scholars see the second book of the Bible as the book in which the central story of redemption begins – liberation from Egypt.
  • God always hears the cry of the oppressed.
  • The cry inaugurates history.  It kicks things in gear. The cry is the catalyst.
  • God doesn’t just hear the cry. God does something about it. The exodus is how God responds to the cry.
  • What started in the garden is now affecting the globe.
  • The word for this condition is “anti-kingdom”.
  • There is God’s Kingdom – the peace, the shalom, the good that God intends for all things.  And then there is what happens when entire societies and systems and empires become opposed to God’s desire for the world.”
  • It’s as if God is now saying “You’ve experienced the anti-kingdom (Egypt), now I’m calling you to be the anti-Egypt.”
  • God is inviting us to be priests to show the world what He is like through our lives.  He does not need images in the form of wood or stone or marble, because this God has people.
  • This God is looking for a body.
  • He is looking for a body, flesh and blood to show the world a proper marriage of the divine and human.
  • What happens when your body looks nothing like you?
  • What happens when your people become the embodiment of everything you are against?
  • What happens when your people “go back that way again,” the way you rescued them from?
  • God gives power and blessing so that justice and righteousness will be upheld for those who are denied them.
  • There is a word that describes what happens when you still have the power and the wealth and the influence, and yet in some profound way you’ve blown it because you’ve forgotten why you were given it in the first place.
  • The word is exile.
  • Exile is when you forget the story.
  • Exile isn’t about location; exile is about the state of your soul. It’s when you fail to convert your blessings into blessings for others. It’s when you find yourself a stranger to the purposes of God.
  • The system works for those with the power and influence to change the system.
  • But what if you can’t hear the cry?
  • God waits, but there comes a point when nothing more can be done.
  • Survivors become servants who serve against their will.
  • Slaves.  Slaves in a foreign land.
  • Sounds a lot like Egypt, doesn’t it?

2 responses to this post.

  1. I just got my copy today! Looks like I’m starting it in another day or so!

  2. Yikes, shield my eyes. I ordered my copy today and am now resisting the temptation to read your notes . Okay, not so much. I read your post and am now looking forward to diving into the book that much more!

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