Did you know that thousands of people are in New York city now, protesting on Wall Street? Fox News reports, “The “Occupy Wall Street” protest is entering its second week. Demonstrators said Saturday that they are protesting bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis. The Troy Davis thing was added into the protest recently, but the Occupy Wall Street movement has been planned for a while and it focuses on the people’s displeasure in this nation’s finances and economics. Bankster bailouts are especially at the center of the protests. People from all over the country arrived at NYC to do their part to let the Administration and the top influence makers know they were not happy. They are upset, in pain, on the verge of poverty. They want a say and they want someone to hear their pleas for change and justice.
They were greeted by fat cat bankers in tuxedoes on balconies, eating canapes and toasting them mockingly with glasses of champagne.
In case you can’t watch a video, here are some stills from the protest as the crowd went by 55 Wall St.
There were a LOT of people there protesting. They were concerned, making a statement with their feet and their voice as we are still allowed to do in this great country. Yet I am ashamed for the people on the balcony. My opinion at the end, but first, the bible-
I’ve been talking for a while about the phenomenon called wealth gap, or wealth skew. Anyone who has visited or lived in a Third World nation knows this is not a new thing. The very rich have always lived alongside the very poor. But in America, we have had generations of a thriving middle class, and the obvious gaps between the very rich and the poverty stricken have not always been so obvious. In many other nations, too, a middle class has arisen that allowed a majority of their populations to live in relative comfort.
In addition, people seem to think that the Tribulation will be filled with 100% poor, moaning in the streets as dogs lick their sores, like the poor man Lazarus outside the rich man’s house. (Luke 16:19-31). But the situation will be very much like Lazarus and the rich man, because there will be rich men living in the Tribulation too. The only difference is that there will be zero compassion. There will be the very rich during the time of Jacob’s Trouble, known to the Gentiles as the Tribulation but they care nothing for the poor. They care so little the rich even fail to pay their employees, thinking nothing of it. (James 5:4) That a thriving trade in luxuries has been ongoing is evident from Revelation 18:9-14 and the kings of the earth, the rich, the mighty men, those that lived in splendor exist too. These are the people who buy the luxuries
Lament for Babylon
“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.”
The Lord has a lot to say about greed, cheating, and squandering resources for your own gain. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
–Just balances (scales)-“You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:36)
–“A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.” (Hosea 12:7)
–“Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?” (Micah 6:11)
The scene at the balcony sickens. It sickens us for so many reasons. I am a capitalist and I like earning my pay through hard work. I admire people who come to America and by sweat of their brow, make it in this country and provide for their family. My great-grandfather came here from Italy in 1899 with some money in his pocket and by the 1920 census he had a wife, 6 kids, and a solid business. That business provided for three generations of his American descendants.
But the people on the balcony, or people like them, we discovered all too devastatingly at the 2008 crash, did not make their money honestly. Through false real estate deals, nepotism, bailouts, inflated bonuses, stolen pension funds, junk bond manipulation and the like, many of them cheated honest people to get where they are.
The people on the ground are marching because they are in economic pain, losing their standard of living, they know someone who is hungry…and the people on the balcony did not even have enough compassion not to mock their concerns and stay inside, never mind ponder their future and how they got to where they are. Compassion for others and honest introspection seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
The verses in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are being fulfilled now and will continue. And in another place, Paul said, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Tim 6:9). James 5:2 predicts, “Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.”
We can become angry over such displays of greed and hate such as those on the balcony exhibited, in this country I no longer even recognize, or we can have compassion on them ourselves, knowing that not only will moths and rust destroy them, but unless they repent, they will live with a worm that never dies. (Mark 9:48). Where will their champagne be then?