In Brief: An Old Story, the Prophets, and the Life of God

Here’s a real shocker (he says sarcastically) from Al Jazeera:

How did Egypt become so corrupt?

A picture is emerging of a state where wealth fuels political power and political power buys wealth.

(via How did Egypt become so corrupt? – Inside Story – Al Jazeera English.)

The old story (as old as human civilization) is the self-reinforcing connection between wealth and this-worldly power. The prophetic voice of the Hebrew scriptures exposes this self-seeking aggrandizement as unjust: not simply as unfair, but even more, as an affront to God’s word that wise rulers– people with power– express their faithfulness by taking care of their poor, and their widows and orphans. In the prophetic understanding, such care is not merely ritual observance; nor is it the hollow and lifeless, going-through-the-motions obedience to a Divine Tyrant– far from it. On the contrary: such care takes part in– participates in– the very life of God.


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