There are so many ideas to look at in this short Psalm. Some are controversial and others are just plain confusing. What is hitting my heart this morning is God’s defense of the poor and powerless. God is instructing the judges of this earth to do their duty in defending those who are treated unjustly. In Asaph’s day those that lived in poverty, the widow, and the orphan were often targets for unfair judgement. So, I ponder who are the poor and powerless of my time? Who are those that are the target of unfair and unjust treatment? And what does God want me to do about it?
When I think and pray about that this morning I feel overwhelmed with sadness because my list is so long. I think about the young black men I know that are unfairly seen as a threat just because of the color of their skin. I think of the kids I know with special needs or learning disabilities that the world doesn’t see value in. I think of the people I know that struggle with mental illness, anxiety, or depression, and how they are wrongly characterized as lazy or crazy or spoiled. I think of the LGBQT community and the people I know that struggle to just be loved and not hated. I think of the immigrants that have risked everything to come to our country to escape violence and oppression only to be seen as criminals and a drain on our society.
What would God say to us now? How would he want us to act? In Psalm 82:3-4 He says to stand up for the justice and rights of those that are poor, oppressed, and destitute. He wants us to be their rescuers, to save them from evil people. Most of the time I think that centers around loving people. It means providing them with the material things they might need but it also means being a friend, celebrating with them, and providing mental and emotional support. It means standing in the gap between them and those that would oppress or harm them when they can’t. I need to seriously consider how I am doing in area and listen to hear what God wants me to do. I hope you will, too.
Family Life Director