And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land ... ; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.
"It is not the noise of the shout of (mastery) victory,
Nor the noise of the cry of (being overcome) defeat,
But the sound of them that sing (sin and provoke) that I hear."
The outcry is the refusal to accept a dehumanizing way of life built around insatiable appetite and production. The outcry is against the dehumanizing way in which people are treated by those who oppress. The outcry is the shout of victory as oppressors exalt their dehumanizing ways and means, enslaving people to the mindset of wealth, wish and desire or unfairly using the disadvantaged to shore up their profits and margins. "If the sinner thinks he has managed his frauds and violence with art and contrivance, the riches and possessions he heaped together will witness against him. There are no greater drudges in the world than those who are slaves to mere wordly pursuits."
Deut. 24:15, "Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you."
Exodus 22:23, "If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; ... "
The outcry is for the realization of the 'imago dei' existing in each of us. The outcry is for relationship which transcends this life.
Isaiah 58:9, "Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'
The outcry is for love which surpasses the limits of our human understanding; love which encapsulates us with its intensity and with its promise of power, strength, resolve to overcome the adversities and trials we face in this existence.
Psalm 61:1-2, " Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
The outcry is for relationship with God.
Psalm 84:2, "My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Psalm 89:26, "He shall cry to Me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation."
Psalm 116:1, "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications."
The outcry will never be silenced in man, it is the very essence of our being to desire relationship with God. It requires more effort and exercise to quiet the outcry of the heart then it does to seek an answer for it.
Luke 19:40, "But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
Habakkuk 2:11, "For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the timbers will answer it."
The drama of the redemption story is the active exchange between God and man. An active exchange or conversation is by definition a bilateral and equal interaction. The history of the relationship of God and man is not just a story of God's initiative. God is moved by human initiative - the outcry. This is not to say that humans can provide their own deliverance, or that God is not an initiator. It is to say that God's relationship with mankind is just that -- a relationship -- fraught with all the trappings, failures, successes and joys. Relationship high-lighted by the interplay of free-thinking, independant, moral people with God. Mankind is not simply a passive recipient of God's irresistable plan. (Calvinist toes set aside) Mankind is a real participant and active recipient in the drama of redemption.
2 Cor. 5:18-19, "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."
Thinking of God as being rooted in a notion of being, namely a substantialist perspective that divides the world into subjects and objects and/or a paternalistic perspective where caring and concern are present and absent is the allowance for individual rights and responsibilities; only works if God is impassable, that is not affected by the world. God in these perspectives is seen as a presiding and persisting subject--omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent - shielded from suffering and pain. We are inclined to disassociate God-the-Father from the Passion of Christ. The Son cries out to the Father - the Father turns from the Son. However the entire character and nature of the Trinitarian God cannot support that separation. Our Father-God is touched by the outcry. Our Father-God is touched by pain and suffering.
The Bible reveals this God Who is not impassable, a God Who is revealed in relation to the outcry of mankind, an unmanagable God who is faithful and consistent precisely in response to human suffering and need.
"Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband." "Many are the children of the solitary one in a higher degree (than) her ... who has the husband of which the other is destitute."
"In those who have suffered from the results of their sins, there is a humility, tenderness, softness in speech, delicacy in understanding the temptations and failures of others, the soul of the prophet, the intercession of the priest, which are beyond price. The pardoned prodigal can talk of his Father's love in a way that the elder son could never do; and as we hear him speak, we know that he is enriching us with spoils gathered by his experiences."
"While we mourn our sins, and bitterly lament their cost and pain, yet we can see how God is at work taking up the very waste of our lives and making it up again into the fairest fabrics; as rich dyes are made from the produce of gas-retorts, and white paper from old and disused rags. In our exile (our time of crying out) we get new thoughts of God, of religion, and of our mission among men. Probably we should have reached them in some other way had we never wandered; but we may have learnt them under conditions which will for ever give a special flavour and tone to our affirmation of these mighty truths."
Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
... and God answers ... " I love you! "