I often meet people who think that what we do at Micah Challenge is new—Christian advocacy for the poor and marginalized. Thankfully, we are not the first to heed this call, and there are many heroes we can draw inspiration from. God has been using his followers to hold political leaders accountable for generations. One advocate whose story continues to inspire and challenge me is Moses. Moses understood the calling, relied on God to complete the task, included the oppressed in the process, and through his advocacy inspired worship.
In Exodus 3:7-10 we see God’s calling on Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that he “let my people go”. Moses was not called to go the Israelites in their slavery and clothe and feed them. Though, knowing how merciful and compassionate our God is I am certain that others were called to meet their immediate needs. Moses however was called to be an advocate to Pharaoh!
Moses knew he wasn’t capable of accomplishing such a massive task on his own (like…uhh..ending extreme poverty), but he trusted God to complete his inadequacies. If God calls us, he equips us. This comes with the territory of being an advocate. As an organization that desires to see the end of extreme poverty we resonate with Moses here! It is tempting to make excuses: “the task is too big”, or “there is no way our leaders will hear our small voice”. We must trust that God will go with us into the halls of power as we proclaim justice for people in extreme poverty—that powerful leaders will hear HIS voice.
As Moses puts the plan into motion he follows a principle that we can try to emulate in our advocacy–The oppressed must be a part of the solution to their own oppression—Exodus 3:16-18 tells us of the plan hatched to free the Israelites. The first step was to assemble the leaders of the Israelites, tell them of God’s concern for them, and then together go to pharaoh to demand freedom. In advocacy circles it’s easy to be so disconnected from the poor that we seek to serve—Advocacy meetings are often populated with policy experts, politicians, and various other characters in fancy suits. As North American advocates we should take our cues from the global church and the issues they have identified as crucial needs.
Finally, Moses advocated in a way that compelled people to worship. Exodus 4:29-31 says that when the Israelites heard that God had seen their misery, and was concerned for them they bowed down and worshipped him. If our seeking after justice does not inspire worship then we have not truly succeeded in “setting the captives free”. At Micah we advocate in such a way that boldly proclaims God’s concern for the poor and through the power of the Holy Spirit we pray draws people nearer to Him.
Join us in proclaiming justice this fall through “Micah’s Challenge to Our Next President”—an effort to ensure our next president shares our concern for those in extreme poverty and maintains poverty focused development aid that is saving lives!