On 21 March South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day. Some will just take it as another long weekend, many will not even know how it originated, and a few (mainly politicians) will reflect on the sad history of our country.
The human rights bill covers an amazing number of situations like equality, religion, belief, culture, race, gender, age, disability , freedom and security, political rights, education, housing, food and shelter. That is not nearly the complete list, but enough to think about for now.
But what does God think of human rights? Were we created with any rights at all?
“Then God said, ‘let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and every creeping thing…(Genesis 1:26)
We were created with enormous potential and wonderful blessings but now we’ve been reduced to demanding basic things like food, shelter and education. Something went wrong.
As Christians we understand that our first parents listened to the biggest lie ever told: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘you shall surely not die, for God knows that when you eat of it (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good from evil’ (Genesis 3: 4-5).
At the time of writing the world is holding its breath and watching in disbelief as Russia invades Ukraine. How could this brutality happen in the 21st century? Are we on the brink of another world war, or the great tribulation as Jesus prophesied (Matthew 24:21)? We shall soon see, but the answer could well be yes. Another question in our minds is ”Who is the Antichrist? Is he alive today? It’s fair to say that he would be a prolific liar, just as Satan is. Deception would be his trade.
But Jesus also preached about the good news of the Kingdom of God. So many of his parables are about this Kingdom where “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the fattened calf together and a little child shall lead them…and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 11: 6-7).
Next month we will focus on the great sacrifice of Jesus who took on himself all the sins, mistakes, stupidities and selfishness of all humans. The Lamb of God loved us so much that he suffered the most painful death devised by the Romans – crucifixion.
But he rose from the dead, showing us that he won the victory of eternal life for us. There may be dark days ahead, but we can see the great light at the end of the tunnel if we stay close to our Saviour. His promises have never failed and never will.
Human rights will not even be a factor. We will have the best of everything.!