Is the Spoil of the Poor in Our House? Isaiah 3 and Community Investing

Ministry of Money E-News, Fall. 4 pp.

The statistics on poverty in the global economy are grim. Half the world’s population (some 3 billion) lives on less than $2/day. The Gross Domestic Product of the poorest 48 nations is less than the combined wealth of the world’s 3 richest people. A billion people entered the 21st century unable to read or write. The situation is particularly bad for children across the planet, half of whom live in poverty. Some 640 million exist without adequate shelter; 400 million have no access to safe water; 270 million have no health services; 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached age five. Yet our country continues waging an expensive war in Iraq, when less than 1% of annual world expenditures on weapons would put every child into school.

Those of us who are well insulated from such realities become inured to these sorts of numbers, awaking only when the mask is occasionally torn away in scenarios such as Hurricane Katrina or the genocide in Darfur. The biblical literature, however, consistently holds our feet close to the flames of God’s indignation toward a world constructed around wealth for the few and poverty for the many. A classic example is the work of the great prophet Isaiah.

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