Many times I’ve been told that the God of the Bible is one who treats everyone equally. I’ve heard that He has no favourites. He doesn’t take sides. He has no bias towards people.
But as I’ve read the Bible recently I’ve been struck by how many stories and passages seem to show God taking sides and favouring a certain group of people over another. I haven’t set out to find this, but have noticed a common trend throughout Scripture, as time and again it seems that God chooses the poor, the weak and the vulnerable over the rich, the strong and those in human authority.
:: starting a nation through a shepherd called Abraham
:: siding with those who were slaves in Egypt and rescuing them from it
:: helping wandering nomads with no home to overcome Jericho in battle
:: creating laws that meant the widowed Ruth to collect grain in the fields to live on
:: choosing the weakest and younger brother, David, as the next King
:: spending his first few hours as a human in a poor and filthy stable
:: choosing fishermen and tradesmen as his disciples
:: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ – Jesus
:: feeding thousands of people through the lunch of a boy
:: contrast between the rich man and Lazarus
:: the party that included the poor, the lame and the beggars
:: ‘easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to…’ – Jesus
I don’t have much more to say other than this but I encourage you to look out for how many times in Scripture it appears that God takes the side of the one who is weaker or poorer. We always like to think that God is on our side…but what if throughout history he has sided with the poor and vulnerable? What camp should I fall in to? What picture do these glimpses give us of God? How should I respond?
“Jesus announces that the poor have a privileged place in the kingdom….Jesus says that God prefers the underprivileged. God is pleased to give a privileged place in the kingdom to those whom the world considers most unfortunate.” Brendan Manning