The preacher, Obed, asks the King of Israel an interesting question. It’s in response to the King’s harsh treatment of the citizens of Judah. He had conquered them and subjected them to oppressive slavery. God had given Judah into their hands because Ahaz, the King of Judah, had sinned greatly against God. His sin brought great suffering to the nation. Israel’s victorious army was capitalizing on God’s discipline of Judah. Israel was kicking his brother Judah while he was down!

Obed, the preacher meets the conquering Israelites in their Capital city, Samaria, and asks them one question: “Have you not sins of your own against the Lord your God? ” The question reminds me of Jesus’ words to the religious leaders who were ready to stone the woman caught in adultery. He said, “Let the one who has no sin cast the first stone.”

I ran across this anonymous poem:

Pray don’t find fault with a man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view,
Or the burden he bears, placed on your back,
Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don’t sneer at the man who is down today,
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
In the self same way at the self same time,
Might cause you to stagger, too.
Don’t be too harsh with a man who sins,
Or pelt him with words or stones,
Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
That you have not sins of your own.
“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7(NLT)