One more reason for unanswered prayer: refusing to listen to God’s Word regarding economic and social justice

I happened to notice an additional reason the Bible gives for unanswered prayer when reading a most significant passage in the book of Zechariah, Zechariah 7:8-13.

My brother in a recent telephone call happened to make reference to this passage for it is highly relevant to issues of social justice, economic justice, and moral responsibility. These are issues largely neglected at large by the Christian church, particularly the Bible-believing Evangelical branch, which in the nineteenth century stood firm and strong on these issues.

Justice is an absolutely central issue in the Bible. Many Christians rightly object to abortion, thus supporting the stand for the “rights of the unborn.” But though this is an important issue, the Bible focuses upon a much larger range of matters that God Himself says He is most concerned about, and we today are in danger of neglecting these just as were the people of Israel when the prophet Zechariah penned the following message:

Zec 7:7 Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?
Zec 7:8 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,
Zec 7:9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
Zec 7:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
Zec 7:11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
Zec 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Zec 7:13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
Zec 7:14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

This passage in verse 12 and again in verse 13 states two cause/effect relationships. Noticing these in Scripture will increase your understanding of a passage and will suggest instructive practical application of Scripture with a sound basis in Bible interpretation.

Verse 12 tells us that people closed their hearts to hearing the law presented by the former prophets. This was the cause which brought about the effect: the Lord of Hosts sent a great wrath upon them.

Verse 13 tells us that just as the people would not hear the cry of the prophets against their evil neglect of justice issues (the cause), so the Lord of Hosts stated He would not hear their cry to Him when trouble befell them (the effect).

This constitutes an additional reason Scripture furnishes for unanswered prayer: Refusal to hear God’s Word regarding all issues of economic and social justice, Zc 7:9-13.

Jesus said (Luke 10:7) that “the laborer is worthy of his hire.” Justice to employees, therefore, requires that they be paid an adequate living wage.

Outsourcing all the good jobs once held here by many in the “middle class” is utterly evil by Biblical standards of justice. But how many Christians and their churches are speaking out as loudly against this as they speak against the evils of abortion? You won’t find much, proportionately, in the Bible against abortion (the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” ought to be enough), but the Bible is brim-full of admonition about economic justice.

How can you find those economic justice passages in the Bible? Consult the full cross references to these matters at any passage that mentions them, such as Malachi 3:5, Luke 10:7, or the passage quoted above from Zechariah 7:8-13, in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible.

If this Bible topic does not particularly concern or interest you, you are in very deep trouble spiritually. The Bible declares that a lack of concern to heed God’s Word regarding these matters results in God’s refusal to hear and answer your own prayers.

More significantly, if you fail to have concern for the broader issues of social and economic justice, God declares you do not know Him, which in the light of eternity is a very fearful matter:

Jer 22:13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
Jer 22:14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
Jer 22:15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?
Jer 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.
Jer 22:17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.

Still not interested in this subject?

When something that ought to interest and concern you doesn’t, the problem is with you. The solution to disinterest is to learn more about the subject. The more you know about a subject, the more interested you become in that subject, and you become eager to learn still more.

So your assignment is, get out your Bible, and procure a reference source that contains extensive cross references for every verse in the Bible, and take the time to study it out for yourself.

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7 Responses to One more reason for unanswered prayer: refusing to listen to God’s Word regarding economic and social justice

  1. Pingback: One More Reason For Unanswered Prayer: Refusing To Listen To God’s …

  2. admin says:

    I’m glad somebody read enough of this post, understood it, and linked appropriately to it.

    Thank you for visiting my site.

    Keep reading this blog. There is much important information given here you are not likely to find elsewhere.

    I believe that for the fullest possible understanding, reading all my posts in chronological order, starting with the first post, is the most effective way to proceed. I hope many readers will ultimately choose to take this route.

  3. Jesus Lover says:

    No doubt the above Bible verses and commentary on your site will help alot of Christians who think the only evil in the world are liberals, pro-abortion activist and militant gays. Not so…God takes it seriously when people are greedy, selfish or cruel. He takes special offense when the rich deprive the poor of fair wages. He said he will hear their cry and defend the poor, the widows, the orphans (fatherless). They are is his prime rib of concern if you goggle poor in your bible concordance you will know for sure. There is more in the Old Testament (and also verses in the New Testament) on defending the poor, oppressed and Gods disdain on the mistreatment of them than anything else. The mistreatment of them was a factor in the captivity of God’s chosen people into Babylon.

    I have worked for Christian Conservatives and I can tell you how more than a few of them were the worst at paying a decent wage and fair treatment, even to workers who surpassed their Sales quota on a consistent basis and behaved exceptionally well in ethical conduct with good evaluations to show it. Some of us Christians got together once a week to pray for the boss and the company because of this.
    When I resigined I discovered I was paid at least five dollars less than the other people on my Sales-team, even the ones I had done better than in surpassing quota and high revenue for the company. The Lord has blessed the work of my hands to supersede my quota, show love to my fellow workers, inspite of their response or disposition, throughout my work history. I prayed to work for Christian Employer specifically to see a Christian ‘s business grow. The Christian boss thought all he had to do was tithe and support the upkeep of his Church Building, he made it known how much he gave and worked for his Church (inside the Church building) but outside the Church four walls he was well-known for his temper and unfair labor practices. I feel certain his being a Conservative in a Conservative Political Party gave him a sense of superiority and his disdain for the current President and His Administration is no secret. Funny, he was blind to the mistreatment of his poor workers.

    I say, it is time for self-inspection Christians-Conservatives-all who label themselves Christians. We may be lacking in many areas and don’t realize it!

  4. Jerry says:

    Dear Jesus Lover,

    I love Him too!

    Thank you for visiting this site. I hope you will return often and make more comments!

    I agree fully with what you have written.

    It most certainly is about time for “self-inspection” of Christian Conservatives, and all who label themselves Christians.

    Apparently very few Christians are Bible-believing, Bible studying Christians.

    In my own experience, when I taught English at a gifted and talented school while at the same time taking a course in the teaching of poetry on the graduate school level, I soon discovered that teaching poetry can be dangerous.

    As a Bible believing, Bible studying Christian, I have similarly learned that true Bible study, what I call Real Bible Study here, is exceedingly dangerous.

    Instead of “receiving one another” (Romans 15:7), Pastors and church boards are most vindictive and eager to get rid of anyone who comes to church that knows anything about the Bible. They have directly told me, “Please go find a church that believes like you do.”

    Thankfully, the Lord has promised “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

    Those who permit or gloss over injustice will not only experience unanswered prayer in the “here and now,” they will not be favored by the Lord on Judgment Day!

    The Bible is most clear: in God’s mind, Justice in all its aspects is His central concern.

    Like you said, one way to see this is to use a concordance and search out the occurrences of the word “poor.”

    Using a complete source of cross references such as the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, just start at Psalm 12:5, and the cross references will take you to many Scriptures most Christians have altogether missed in their hurry to read through the Bible in one year! Also see Malachi 3:5.

  5. CasSandra C.Vearnon-Bey says:

    Truly appreciated this article. I’m a born again Christian, and a college student doing a research paper on the Bible and Economic justice in regards to the Divine Command Theory. You have renewed my faith. I have been distraught and depressed in regards to so many Christians talk that talk, but they do not walk that walk. Action speaks louder than words and we as Christians should be standing up for the ills and injustices that are committed against humanity just as our saviour the Lord Jesus Christ stood up against
    evil, political and social injustice in his day. Thank you and GOD BLESS

  6. Truth Seeker says:

    I feel I’m on the right path but always feel too that I am on the edge because even though I know Jesus is with me. I feel so alone and lost (never totally certain).

    Like you I have not found a church that teaches what the bible says and I’m not even that good at reading as I often forget what I just read or my mind wanders and pages later I realize I was reading but not paying attention so I have to re-read several times the same page. “Ha Ha” None-the-less I understand the bible enough to know the truth from a lie. Also, often words or a sentence just pop in my mind and I always open the bible to verify that it is in fact the Holy Ghost speaking and not just my imagination. If it is from God it will be confirmed in scripture.

    I just wanted to say thank and GOD BLESS you because you have inspired me to buy these four books which I found when I went looking to buy a reference book. I cannot wait to receive them, and pray that I will better hear God and know him. Maybe I over did it but when it come to Jesus it does not matter. May favorite thing to buy is bibles. I have so many and given many away. I read and I hear such amazing things that I cry everytime I open the Word of God and I wish for others to feel the Holy Spirit and experience what I do.

    Only recently I have been feeling there is something more so last week I bought some bibles with room to write in them and colored markers (not sure how we personalize our bible but going to try). Now though you God is telling me to read references. God is so God and always provides on time what we need.

    Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: With Topical Index (Word Study)
    Vine, W. E.

    The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
    Strong, James

    Nave’s Topical Bible: A comprehensive Digest of over 20,000 Topics and Subtopics With More Than 10,000 Associated Scripture References
    Nave, Orville J.

    The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: An easy-to-use one-volume library for Bible study and lesson preparation.
    Thomas Nelson

    PS. Sorry that my grammar is not so good, but I think I should speak regardless.

  7. Jerry says:

    Thank you for your post, Truth Seeker.

    You will find these resources helpful. If you have any difficulty understanding how to use them, let me know and I’ll try to help you make good use of them.

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