A Christian Response to the Rights of the Mighty

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia once again brings before us a fundamental human weakness; the mighty and powerful consider that it’s their right to have their way at any cost and the weak and vulnerable must be at the mercy of the strong!

Not only in such geopolitical affairs, even among small communities and individuals we can notice such superiority complex displayed arrogantly and violently. When one considers themselves as the ‘fittest’ due to any reason, then they feel that their intentions must be accomplished. They have people to make it happen, often subjugating and silencing the weaker ones. The poor feel that they are helpless and must be submissive to the powerful.
‘Survival of the fittest’ could be the law of the animal kingdom but if the so-called modern, educated society follows the same principle unashamedly and unchallenged what is the difference between man and animal? Is it not a big blow to the basic principles of humanity and natural justice?

What should be a Christian response to this issue? What does the scripture say to the ‘fittest’ as well as to the ‘weakest’? How can the strong and weak coexist with mutual respect and care?

The Cause and Consequences

As in all others troubles plaguing mankind, the haughtiness of man also stems from his sinfulness. Ever since the fall of man the peace and harmony of the Garden of Eden became foreign to him. Violence and bloodshed became part his daily life. (Rom 1:28ff; Gen 4:8)

Selfish ambitions make one thirsty for achievements in every area. That passion for success emboldens them to take any path to accomplish it. By hook or crook they succeed and yet their greed is never satisfied. In their pursuit to reach the uppermost, they do not mind the consequences like pain, agony and the loss of their fellow beings.

However, God’s eyes are upon the sufferings of the oppressed. He cannot be indifferent to the afflictions of the poor and needy. The Lord told Moses, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.” (Exo 3: 7) Not only the Lord delivers the distressed people in a miraculous manner, but He will also destroy all the oppressors in His own way.

We have plenty of examples in the Bible, how hard-hearted autocrats tried to subjugate the weak and defenceless. They may succeed for some time, but ultimately they would be doomed and disappeared. God’s dealings with Pharaoh, Sennacherib the Assyrian King, Nebuchadnezzar, etc., must be lessons to the tyrants in whichever arena they may be. (Exo 1: 8ff; 15: 4; 2Chro 32:21; Dan 4:33)

Divine Displeasure

God always resists the proud and haughty. Whether their arrogance is expressed in words, deeds or even looks, God hates it and responds accordingly. (Pro 21:4; Isaiah 3:16; 10:12; James 4:6) We have plenty of scripture passages where the Lord speaks against the proud tyrants. "Behold, I am against you, O most haughty one!" says the Lord GOD of hosts; "For your day has come, The time that I will punish you.” (Jer 50: 31ff; cf. Ezek 29:3; 38:3; Nah 2:13, etc.)
Even the associates of the tormenters will not be spared. (Job 9:13; Isa 30:7) Many may think it’s prudent to stay neutral in order to guard their self-interest. However, they cannot get away from their moral responsibility. (Rom 1:32) Never forget, sin involves not just our actions but even our inactions. Deliberately avoiding the right action is tantamount to an evil act! (James 4:17)

At the same time, the humble will always find favour with the Lord and they will experience salvation and exaltation in due time. (Psa 18:27; 20:8; 138:6) When pride brings one to the lowest level, and even destruction, humility takes one to the highest. (Pro 16:18) The proud will lose their respect, but the humble will earn it. (Pro 29:23; Isa 57: 15; Matt 18:4)


That’s why Jeremiah the prophet admonishes, “Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.” (Jere 9:23, 24)

Apostle Paul also wrote to Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1Timo 6:17)

It is utter foolishness to boast on anything, like our health, wealth or any other achievement. All that we consider as our might and sure support are God’s gracious provision only. (Deut 8:16ff) As God’s faithful stewards our responsibility is to make use of these supplies for God’s own glory. That happens only when we use our resources in God’s will and for His purposes. (Rom 11:36)

At any moment all that we accumulate and cherish might vanish away; this is true even about us. There is nothing permanent. History stands witness to this solemn fact. No dictator could survive for long in spite of all the power they wielded. Repeated refusal to learn this and change testifies to the senselessness and depravity of the human heart.

Fret not
God’s words to all the oppressed and mistreated are reassuring. Man may refuse to stand with the marginalized and voiceless. Many may disregard the struggles of the helpless. But God Almighty will continue to be the stronghold and refuge for the destitute and maltreated. He will intervene at the right time.

Moses’s words to the frightened, fleeing Israelites are remarkable, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exo 14: 13, 14)

Fear and doubt may be natural when the evil forces unleash untold atrocities against common people. But the scripture encourages us to continue to hope in the Lord and patiently wait for the Lord’s time. The world will witness the mighty hand of God against the fleshly weapons of the enemy.

Is there any hope for the proud and haughty other than destruction? Yes, that is the gospel of Christ. If they realize their foolishness, humble themselves and confess their sins, there is hope. (1John 1:7, 9) The ultimate solution for sinful man is true transformation through the miraculous working of the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ. Only when the Lord Jesus Christ rules the heart of man one become truly humble, loving and caring. (Matt 5: 3 – 9; Zeph 3:11) It is then alone one willingly and sacrificially support the weaker one. (Rom 4:21; 1Cor 8:13; 10:33)

Absolute peace and harmony is possible only when individuals come under the Lordship of Christ and voluntarily submit to His will. (Rom 5:1; Acts 10:36; Isa 2:4; 11: 1 – 8) That is true in every area, like home, church, society and among nations.

Related topic: Might of Minority




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