Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 14 March 2013


By Jim Jordal

"Open your mouth for the speechless,

In the cause of all who are appointed to die.

Open your mouth, judge righteously,

And plead the cause of the poor and needy."

Prov. 31:8-9 NKJV

If you think world poverty is too big a problem to be solved at any time, let alone now, consider this: According to Oxfam International just the increase (not the total) in the wealth of the world’s top 100 billionaires over the past year would be enough to end extreme world poverty (income of less than $1.25 per day) four times over. At an average gain of $2.8 billion last year, the 100 richest gained a total of $280 billion.

So if all their financial gain could end extreme poverty four times over, then a tax of 25 percent on their gains would be sufficient to end absolute poverty. The World Bank reports that in 2008 (the last year for which figures are available) there were 1.29 billion people living in extreme, or absolute poverty. India and China head the list numerically, while sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage, with 47 percent of her people existing in extreme poverty. There are another billion or so living in "regular" poverty with incomes of $2 to $5 dollars daily.

Desperate, soul-destroying poverty could be solved almost immediately were we to gain an infusion of compassion or, lacking that, a bit of altruistic common sense. Let’s first consider the common sense approach. The ultra rich don’t generally seem to realize that they also would profit from the elimination of desperate poverty. More people having more money mean more profits for sellers of goods and services. Additional income for consumers means more sales for business. If wealthy producers wish to continue their economic gains they must increase their markets. Henry Ford knew this when he pioneered one of the first living wages with the admission that workers couldn’t buy his cars unless he provided them sufficient income. But that idea seems lost today.

Another common sense issue is that of mere survival. Never in history have oppressors managed to oppress the masses forever. There is always a day of reckoning. Sometimes the powerful fall as their society collapses into decadence and dissolution. Other times it’s due to violent revolution. Other times it happens as a wise leader understands the suffering of the people and demands reform, as did President Theodore Roosevelt with the big trusts during the first years of the twentieth century. Sometimes it’s due to conquest by a foreign enemy. But whatever event ends an era of excess and arrogance, it always comes. So simple survival should indicate to the power elite that there might be reason for them to cease their oppressions at least a bit.

And where today do you think such a move toward justice could come from? I suppose it’s not impossible, but don’t place too faith in present-day political parties or their benefactors to originate such a movement. They can’t because the forces they are elected to protect us against own them. Will the rich themselves institute such a sweeping change? I think not, because they appear to have lost as a group the power of empathy for the masses. Will it be a dominating system such as socialism or the forces of terrorism that will create needed change? No, because they propose cures that are worse than the disease. So, from where will it come?

I think the change will come from within our people as disaster after disaster piles upon us and we belatedly realize that our only hope arises from a national turning to God. The prophets of old spoke many times of such as revival, yet we seldom hear anything of the sort from organized religion. But it’s time we did! Circumstances combined with an outpouring of God’s Spirit will bridge the gap. Why don’t you become a part of this movement?