Focus Scripture: Jeremiah 32:27
“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
From at least the time of the prophets, the God is Israel affirmatively said that he was the God of all. Not some tribal god concerned with a single people, taking sides and favoring one over the other, God is the God of all.
How we understand God changes how we understand each other. If Our God is just for us, and against "them," whoever "they" are, then we can be against them too. It is only right that we go to war with them. It is only right that we kill them, take land from them and dominate them. Because our God dominates their god.
But if our God is their God and they are God's people too, then everything is different.
I remember hearing a story of a parent in heaven whose heart was broken by the actions of his/her children. These three siblings all had different advantages. One lived in a wealthy neighborhood with good neighbors. It was safe, with good police and fire departments, parks, libraries, and excellent medical care. Food was plentiful, healthful and affordable. She had a good job and lived well.
Another, through the circumstances of life, ended up ok. The area she lived in was safe enough. She had enough food, adequate health care.
But their youngest sister lived in squalor. Through life circumstances and no fault of her own she had fallen on hard times. She lived in a bad neighborhood. There was danger everywhere, gangs, street violence and crime was rampant. Public officials did not care what happened because it was considered a ghetto. Food was scarce, expensive and of poor quality. Health care was not good and yet injuries were common. Life expectancy was low. She did not have the resources to get out or to improve her circumstances.
The oldest sister who was better off felt bad about the one who was suffering, but really, it wasn't her problem. And what could she do about it anyway? So she did nothing. The middle child too, well, she didn't have the resources to make a difference so she couldn't do anything either. And when the youngest sister died an untimely death, they both felt it wasn't their fault. It was just the circumstances.
This story is shocking--that sisters would allow another sister to live under these circumstances and wouldn't help her. Well, imagine God is the parent. And we are the sisters--all of us. We are the human family. And some of our brothers and sisters live like the youngest and some of us (myself included) are the oldest sibling. What are we doing to help? Our God is the God of all people. We are all one family.