‘Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.’ Psalm 82.3
When the psalmist wrote these words he was giving us an insight into the heart of God. These issues concern God and are a priority for him, so as we also care about them we can be certain that we are close to his heart and doing his will.
Perhaps it is the command to defend the weak that challenges most of us? The ‘weak’ refers to those who are struggling to cope with their circumstances, and it is highly likely that we all know of people who fall into this category – maybe even you yourself. To defend such folk means to regard them as important, to value them, their stories and their situations, and to do whatever we can to help them. Doing this is not only about blessing them, but also about us being obedient to God’s command and reflecting him – after all, this is how God treats us.
When you are weak, God is concerned about you and about your situation. He does not reprimand you for not being stronger, but instead seeks to draw close to you. You may not be specifically aware of his presence with you, but perhaps you can recognise that he has brought someone else alongside you to help.
This is God’s heart and if you can apply it to yourself and to others in their weakness, then you will bring great pleasure to him.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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