‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’
The ‘if’ at the beginning of this passage indicates we have a choice to make. We have an opportunity to practically take part and therefore experience the amazing promises given later in the passage or we can be indifferent and allow the oppression, judging and gossiping to continue by keeping silent but as a result miss out on the reward of a God guided life. Every day we are struggling against these human failings within the veterinary profession and our own personal lives and we are each called to do away with oppression, gossiping and judgemental attitudes.
This passage from the bible was also instrumental in the founding of the charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which was started by John Kirkby 20 years ago. For anyone who hasn’t heard of CAP it is a nationwide charity working to release people in the local community from debt, unemployment, addiction and generational poverty. It does this by providing a number of services that run through the local church. I have been working for 12 months now on a part time basis with the charity and it was a pleasure to meet another veterinary graduate, Duncan Giles, at the recent CAP conference in Harrogate marking 20 years since the charity started. Duncan works as an area manager for a number of debt centres in Scotland and I work as a manager for my local debt centre in Northern Ireland.
This year CAP is aiming to help 20,000 people through its various ministries and as it does this all by empowering the local church to meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable in their community with the message and hope of the gospel.
Be encouraged by these verses if you are seeking to apply them to your life and if you would like to be involved in any way with CAP, or to find out if there is a service in your local area, go onto the website