A Season of Psalms: Psalm 9:9, 12, 18
Psalm 9: 9, 12, 18
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble…he does not forget the cry of the afflicted…for the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
I remember being in trouble on many occasions as a young child. I was frequently in trouble at school and at church for the words I spoke or the things I broke! It was little wonder that I received the “rod of correction” on a consistent basis as justice for my actions. Did I learn from my wrongdoing? Not always, and the lesson was administered again and again until I got the message. Once it was received and understood, I never forgot it!
In Psalm 9, God repeatedly tells His people that He will not forget the oppressed, the afflicted, or the needy. In fact, He’s very partial to them. Throughout Scripture, He repeatedly calls for believers to pay careful attention to the fatherless, the orphans, and widows in their distress, those who have an inability to protect or care for themselves. The Bible says that God is committed to caring for the powerless and defenseless, and since the needs of such people are on God’s heart, He expects that same heart to be in us. We are called to care for the lost, the lonely, and the least.
A few weeks ago, I finished reading Richard Stearns’s powerful book on human suffering called The Hole in our Gospel. Talking about the response of the church to the poor, the sick, and the oppressed in our nation and world, Stearns had this to say: “Are we, like Christ, willing to respond with compassion and urgency to those who suffer? Are we willing? Do we have the kind of faith, the moral courage, the depth of love, and the strength of will to rise up off our padded pews to demonstrate the good news to the world? One way or the other, this will be our defining moment!” Ready, set, let’s go to work!
Further Reading: Matthew 5:3-10; James 1:27
Pray with me:
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Help me to see this community as you see it. Help us to remember that when we were powerless to help ourselves, you sent your Son to give us life. May we give life to those in need, to those who are lost, lonely, and regarded as the least. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.