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The Great Reversal

• Greg Boyd

In Mary’s song, she proclaims that God has touched the poor but has rejected the rich. That he has chosen to humble people of power while lifting up the humble. In other words, those who look like they deserve the blessings of God miss out on them. The Kingdom of God is one that is upside down. It is the great reversal that does not make sense to our power-hungry and money-crazed world. God’s view of success evaluates life much differently. The world sees money and power as the sign of success. In the Kingdom, success is defined by what you do with them.

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In Mary’s song, she proclaims that God has touched the poor but has rejected the rich. That he has chosen to humble people of power while lifting up the humble. In other words, those who look like they deserve the blessings of God miss out on them.

Some interpret this great reversal as a general statement against wealth and power, assuming that the wealthy and powerful are always corrupt. This is not always the case. 1 Tim 6:17 states, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” There is no command against being rich or against being powerful. The command is to share with those in need and to use positions of power for the sake of others.

The Kingdom of God is one that is upside down. It is the great reversal that does not make sense to our power-hungry and money-crazed world. God’s view of success evaluates life much differently. The world sees money and power as the sign of success. In the Kingdom, success is defined by what you do with them.
In fact, God sides with the poor and the oppressed against the rich and powerful. This is not because he does not love the rich and powerful, but because people with money and power tend to become proud in their inmost thoughts and think that they deserve it. While there are exceptions, statistics demonstrate that the wealthier a person is in the United States, the less he gives to charitable causes. When one group benefits at the expense of another group, it grieves the heart of God.

God expects his people to care for the poor and oppressed. This is not the job of government. It is the job of Kingdom people. When we do this, we do it to God; we are doing it unto him Matthew 25 says. When we care for the poor, revival will break out.

How then do we act as Kingdom people? First, educate yourself about poverty. The less you know the easier it is to ignore reality. Secondly, take your finances “captive to Jesus Christ.” Thirdly, fast for those in need by giving to ministries you trust. And fourthly, fast for those in need through service.

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Topics: Blessings, Kingdom of God, Money, Power


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 1:52-53

    He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.

    He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.

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