Key Verses: 41:1-2
“You, Lord God, bless everyone who cares for the poor, and you rescue those people in times of trouble.” CEV
Caring for the poor is important to God. Throughout the Old Testament people are praised for taking care of those who are struggling and reprimanded for not doing so. In fact throughout the prophets the peoel of God are chastised more often for not caring for the poor, the orphan, the widow and the foreigner than they are for idolatry. The fist sign of unrighteousness is disregard for and mistreating those who are weak and vulnerable.
Here the Psalmist tells us that God takes care and looks after those who take care and look after the poor. Then the Psalmist asks God for mercy and forgiveness for his own sins. He is admitting that he himself has not lived God’s standards when it comes to treatment of the poor. AS people seeking to be the kind of people God is calling for us to be we too need to be willing to admit when we fail to pay attention to the needs and concerns of those who struggle financially as well as those who are oppressed and mistreated in our society. We like the Psalmist can call for others to live up to these standards even as we admit that we fail at doing these very things and work to do better.
We begin to work to do better by listening to the voices of those who are struggling and tell us they are oppressed, by hearing their stories and working to not only change our own actions, but call for others to join us in our efforts and then together work to dismantle the systems and practices in our society which are the root of their struggle and oppression.
Thing to Think on
In what ways do you fail to live up to God’s standard which calls for us to uplift and take care of the poor, the orphan, the widow and the foreigner?
Can you take time to “listen” to someone else’s story today by hearing what someone who says they are struggling has to say or read an article which articulates someone else’s struggle?
What can you do to make a change in your life to better support those who are struggling? How can you work to call other Christians to join you in this Godly pursuit?
A Prayer for Today
Lord, I hear your Word. I see that you call me to take care of others, to listen to their stories, to hear their voices and to work to help make their lives and their situations better. You tell me that it is sinful when I do not. Help me to not participate in this kind of sin. Help me to be righteous in matters such as these. Reveal to me how I can work to be better myself. Show me what I can do help make things better in my society. And challenge me to invite others to join me in pursuit of your righteousness in this way. - Amen