How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. —Psalm 82:2-4
Here in this Psalm we hear God delivering judgment on the 'gods' for their failure to use their power and positions to defend the weak, protect the rights of the poor, and provide deliverance for the vulnerable from the wicked. God's call for those in positions of any amount of power is to wield it for the benefit and good of others–particularly providing justice and care for those who are vulnerable to mistreatment.
A couple weeks ago, 11-12th graders in Maranatha discussed the Christian response to the #MeToo movement. One of the questions groups discussed was, 'Who are the vulnerable in our society?' In the Old Testament we have great examples such as Boaz, an ordinary man who used his position to advocate for and protect Ruth, a woman and a foreigner.
In the New Testament James describes true religion in part as that which cares for the orphans and widows. Jesus spent His ministry healing the sick and blind, attending to the needs of children and women, and often individually addressing the outcast. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught against bypassing the beaten and abused man. Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God by laying aside the glory of heaven that belonged to Him in order to walk alongside us, suffer for us, and die in our place—all while we were at our weakest—completely unable to reach out to Him, enslaved in sin.
So the question to consider is in what ways are we called to humble ourselves (as Christ has done for us) in order to use our role or position for the sake of others? In Maranatha, it can be as simple as an older student reaching out to a younger one, or an outgoing teen welcoming one who is shy. In work places, this could be an employer modeling not a self-ambition but an ambition to encourage, mentor, and serve employees—or perhaps standing up for a co-worker who is being harassed. In our society, it could look like volunteering time to an organization serving refugees. God calls us to use anything He gives us to care for others—because we serve a King Who laid down His life so that we could come to God.
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