The Lord himself shall enter into judgment with the elders of the people, and with their rulers: but why have ye set my vineyard on fire, and why is the spoil of the poor in your houses?
Friday in the First Week – At the Sixth Hour – Is 3:1-14
Why is the spoil of the poor in your houses?
The Lord asks a question of the Jews through the prophet. Does this question apply to us?
The answer is quite simply, “Of course!” All that is written in the scripture applies to us – we are to answer the questions, test ourselves in relation to the examples, and take to heart all the admonitions.
It is too easy for us poor conceited ones to pass over such a stinging admonition as the prophet gives to the Jews of his time, with nary a shudder, nary a compunctionate thought. So much of what the prophet says is so extreme, and we confidently feel that his rebukes are about someone else.
May it be so that the prophet’s rebukes do not apply to us! In order to be certain that we are exempt from his rebuke, we must read the scripture spiritually. We are not people of the prophet’s time, and much of the historical context does not apply to us, but
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2Ti 3:16)
If we do not give alms, the spoil of the poor is in our houses!
If we spend more on our own comfort than that of others, the spoil of the poor is in our houses!
The poor are not only those lacking the means for the physical life, but also those who are ignorant, or lost, or staggering under any burden. If we have any strength, and do not reach out in compassion, the spoil of the poor is in our houses!
If we are well, and do not visit the sick, then the spoil of the poor is in our houses!
If we have been blessed, and do not bless, then the spoil of the poor is in our houses!
Priest Seraphim Holland St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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