How long shall the wicked exult,
shall they utter insolent speech,
shall all evildoers vaunt themselves?
They crush your people, O Lord,
they afflict Your very own;
they kill the widow and the stranger;
they murder the fatherless,
thinking, “The Lord does not see it,
the God of Jacob does not pay heed.
Biblical scholar Nahum Sarna comments:
The specification of the oppressed shows that those described as God’s “people” are the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable segments of society…God’s “people” are the ordinary, common folk, and the evil oppressors are the corrupt, privileged upper classes in Israel, those whom the prophets denounced repeatedly from the eighth century BCE on.
I love this. The concept of “God’s people” is not defined in strictly tribal terms. No one people or nation can ultimately lay claim to this title. God’s people are the oppressed, the vulnerable, the downtrodden – and all who devote their lives to their liberation.
So are we ready for a new kind of tribalism? Not one determined by a specific religious persuasion or by national boundaries, but a “tribe” that includes all who share cherish justice and seek liberation from tyranny?