I imagine when you flick through your memory and recall your favourite bible passages, 2 Chronicles 24:19 doesn’t come very high on your list (I’d be surprised if it were on your list at all). The verse says:-
Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.
Countless times, God commissioned prophets of all backgrounds to speak out against the injustices caused by the religious leadership – often Kings – of Israel and Judah alike. Many times they testified that trouble would come both for the oppressed and the rest, if God’s people did not turn back to Him and turn back to what was right! Prophetic action was certainly not the easiest vocation, even at the best of times. And it seems the same truth remains apparent today; still we are called to speak out for the voiceless (Proverbs 31:8-9), and still we should be well warned that the powers that be are unwilling to listen.
Today, Around 50 people gathered at Church House, Westminster – the administrative centre for the Church of England to gather and pray. Why so? Because the building was being used to house a conference sponsored – and in all likelihood, in view of supporting – by many major arms dealers (http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2012/26-october/news/uk/drones-cast-shadow-on-c-of-e-hq). Many of those 50 prayed for peace outside the entrance, yet a few of us (including us) were sent away with the excuse that ‘this is private property’ and ‘we’ve decided to limit the numbers allowed in’.
I was one of those left outside, and left feeling bemused. Our religious leadership is acquiescing in the proliferation of warfare and oppression and they are simply not paying attention to our cries. Does that sound familiar? I’m afraid so, but, take encouragement, the Prophets were not called to be the ones to say ‘I told you so’ at the end of it all, but to deliver hope and sometimes fall on their knees in prayer for their people. Be thankful that many people were able to get in this morning, and that the rest of us can continue to bring a message of hope against injustice.