“What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.”
Isaiah 5:8 (NIV)
It’s hard to believe these words of Isaiah were written thousands of years ago when they are so relevant to our day. In many cities around the world, investors are building up huge material wealth by buying up house after house and field after field and leaving a growing number of the materially poor “evicted” – they can no longer afford to live in such areas. This is very much the case in my home of Boston. An April 8, 2022 article in GBH News captured the issue in its title alone: “Gentrification in Boston has ‘devastating’ impacts on affordable housing”.
You might think such investment opportunities would lead to great joy, but Isaiah more accurately captured the resulting emotion: “What sorrow”. The wealthy are buying and building more house and sitting in them lonely and sorrowful. Mental illness rates have skyrocketed – and that was true before COVID. What did the Lord have in mind? Let’s take a look at the words immediately before those captured in our Key Verse…
He expected a crop of justice,
but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
but instead he heard cries of violence.
Isaiah 5:7b (NIV)
Let’s go do what is just and right in the housing sector, not just seek the most attractive investment opportunity. That is one big step in transforming our sorrow into great joy.
This is the fourth in the “Ensure Safe and Affordable Housing” series of blog posts on our Journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence.