What kind of fruit is New Zealand growing?
Having been a pastor for over 20 years and having been through the aftermath of a natural disaster, I am more than convinced that God cares very much about social justice. I am not ashamed to identify myself as politically left leaning. As I read the Bible I see that God has a very deep concern for social justice and righteousness. The sacred text of Christians is filled with God’s heart for the poor and the oppressed, the widows and the orphans.
This morning I did some studies around Isaiah 5 in preparation for a research project I am working on. The chapter starts off with a parable. God planted a vineyard in order to get good fruit. But all He found were bad fruit. This is a parable about the nation of Israel. God cared for them and lavished them with His grace and love. In return God was expecting justice and righteousness as the appropriate fruit that would please Him. Instead of good fruit, the people responded to God’s blessings with bloodshed which led to the downtrodden crying out in distress.
The chapter continues. Instead of taking the moral responsibility to ensure justice and righteousness prevail in the nation, Israel continued along a path that benefited the few whilst others struggle. They had an insatiable greed that came from their pursuit of economic wealth; they pursued hedonistic pleasure that comes from drunkenness and dissipation; and they defied God by continuing to practice wickedness and greed at the expense of justice and righteousness.
Our National government has been more interested in seeking after economic wealth whilst there is a growing number of people struggling with human rights violations, poverty and injustice; they have been more interested in satisfying the hedonistic pleasure by encouraging gambling and alcohol consumption; and they are more interested in seeking unrighteous and unjust decisions, then going out-of-the-way to hide these decisions with lies and deceit.
What kind of fruit would God find in the nation of New Zealand?