In the Ghetto
“They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.’”
Ezekiel 36:35 (NIV)
Confession time—I am of the generation that first appreciated the talent of Elvis Presley. At the time, and even today, I did not enjoy all his songs, but there is one in particular which had an impact on me and has resonated through the decades. It is as relevant now as when it was written. It was written by Mac Davis in the 1960’s and subsequently recorded by many artists. It is called ‘In the Ghetto’ and tells the story of a child born in a ghetto in the USA (though it could have been anywhere in the world) and of the struggle for existence in a deprived and often hostile environment. Tragically, the child’s life ends violently as a young man and at that moment another child is born—in the ghetto. Davis first entitled the song ‘A Vicious Circle’ which is most apt. The circle of life for many born into poverty and deprivation in this world is too often cut short.
We have created a world with dreadful areas of need. Jesus came to put an end to ghettos and human indigence. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Thieves take from us—they take away the quality of life, depriving people of possessions, including self-respect. Satan is known as the Destroyer and it is he who is responsible for the ghettos of this world. Jeremiah 4:7 says, “A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.” The foundations of Satan’s wastelands are sin in all its manifestations.
The crux of the matter is, however, he did it with our consent. From the beginning we have gone our own way as it says in Genesis 6:12: “God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” We continue on this path creating ghettos of sin in our lives. Romans 3:23 tell us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We have moved away from the One who would have us live a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31)
A day is coming when ghettos will be no more, when the violent death of young men will cease and the weeping of mothers will end. Jesus Christ is coming to save man from himself. Revelation 21:4 encourages us telling us that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Jesus will make all things new as we read in Revelation 21:5, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Ghettos will be erased forever—no more vicious circles! Haste the day!
Great wonderful Father, thank you for your plan of salvation which saves us from ourselves. Help us Lord to have compassion on the needy. Thy kingdom come.
Study by Irene Wilson
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Herts. WD24 7HF
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