Sometimes your friend is the protagonist, the favoured one, the top of the pile.
And that’s okay because you love them… but it can be hard to feel like the sideline story. Then this one with all the gifting and all the gifts takes something of yours, brings you shame, serves out injustice against you, and then conspires to your death.
And that is Uriah’s story.
This faithful guy who served David, loved David, loyally supported his country, stayed in solidarity with his soldiers instead of taking his night off in pleasure with his wife. Uriah, whose name is just a whisper in David’s Story.
This Uriah, who did everything right, this guy who played second fiddle to the ‘main event’ and his life ended at the whim and will of David who wanted his wife. David who had many wives, the castle, the ‘world’ at his command.
Uriah needed justice.
We need justice.
Justice is the story of God.
We are spared from the sentence we all deserve by the sacrifice of Jesus but in time, at the right time, at the fulfilment of time God will put all to rights. There is justice for all, to come.
We are living in a world of supreme injustice where the protagonists, the rich, the educated, the ones born in the ‘right’ countries, live, shop, eat, socialise -often- at the expense of the ‘others’.
Uriah was murdered at the hand of David and maybe it looks like he didn’t get the justice he deserved.
But Uriah’s story didn’t end at his death, Nathan came to David with a message from God, a story, that turned the heart of David and made him realise how great the cost of his behaviour. David lost a child.
God lost a Son to conquer injustice and the story is not finished yet.
Michael Lloyd puts it more eloquently when he says,
Judgement then, though a dreadful prospect, is part of the good news of God. It is good news because it means that pain and suffering and injustice and oppression will not go one forever… It will thereby be a gateway to a new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells (2 Peter 3:13) because God himself has taken up residence amongst us and death and mourning and crying and pain have passed away. (Revelation 21:1-14)*
Because the world is longing for justice. It is not okay to sell a story to a broken heart that says – it doesn’t really matter.
… and while we wait for the beautiful and awe-inspiring, and fearful justice of God to be lavished we can partner with justice now.
We can be part of the voice that says enough.
We can give when it hurts.
We can shop more painfully, thoughtfully, cautiously.
We can eat more radically.
Uriah was not forgotten by God. Maybe it feels like you have missed out on justice, that you are a sideline in someone else’s star performance but today remember that even the sparrows are noticed.
The very hairs on your head.
The moment you rise in the morning.
The words you speak before they leave your mouth.
These things, all known, all noticed.
Because the world is full of stories of protagonists but in the story of God You are a character worth sending the Prince for. You are a character of enough value, that the Prince, and not some underling, was sent to rescue.
If your heart is broken by feeling forgotten remember today you are not forgotten.
If your heart is crumbling at the stories of injustice, have Hope – justice will one day roll on like a river, for all.
And let us all seek justice as we can. Let us all Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly.
God of justice comfort, confront and challenge injustice in us, towards us and that we do thoughtlessly or wilfully. God forgive us the injustice we have dealt.
Jesus, who lead by servanthood, call us to serve alongside you today.
Holy Spirit, give us divine inspiration to act creatively and passionately for justice wherever we are today.
Father wrap the broken pieces in your tender hands and speak peace to the wounded today.
Lloyd also includes this statement that challenges my heart,
Do we long for the appearing of Christ and the putting right of the world’s wrongs? Or have we made our peace with current compromised state of the world? Have we become so inured to the injustices of our world (because our lifestyles are so dependent on them?) that we harbour no hatred for them in our hearts?*
* if you are hungry for authentic, intelligent, life-challenging teaching on Christianity I can wholeheartedly recommend Cafe Theology by Michael Lloyd.