Monday, September 11, 2017
Psalm 82:3-4 “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.”
Last week a famous entertainment star made a very revealing statement about what she thinks is the reason for the natural disasters occurring in America. It was revealing because it publicly exposed her belief system, which tragically is the same belief system of countless others. She boldly declared that the hurricanes affecting America are Mother Nature’s retribution for the last presidential election. The tragic part of that statement has nothing to do with our president, but has everything to do with the worship of creation – specifically man – rather than the Creator. (See Romans 1:18-25)
The worship of man has so powerfully deceived us that even the efforts to relieve the suffering of mankind are motivated by greed and self-advancement. Now I don’t want to sound cynical, but I do wholeheartedly believe that unless we first know God and seek to comprehend His heart for mankind, that every effort we make to extend a helping hand will be tainted by selfish motives.
We place an exorbitant amount of value on what we do, somehow believing that it defines us and qualifies us for the blessing of God. But God’s will is not about where we go and what we do, but about who we are. And who we are is always a product of what we believe about God. If we deny Him, we make ourselves god so we ultimately serve self with everything we do. If we acknowledge God, then we can sacrifice self as He did and serve others with pure love.
Knowing God for who He is and not for what He can do is to be our priority. Then, and only then, will we know what He wants us to do. If we seek to know the heart of God, and choose to allow the transforming power of His Holy Spirit to bring the heart of Jesus Christ to life in us, then we will by nature do the will of God.
God has revealed His heart to us. Moses knew God’s heart, and described Him to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy: For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
As His people, under the influence of His Spirit, we become the physical expression of God’s heart to those around us. We will reach out in love and compassion to meet the needs of others. We will be others-minded, not self-centered. We will serve others, not self. We will sacrifice our time, our energy, and our resources to “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.”
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem glamorous enough to be worthy of our time. But God didn’t call us to the glamorous, but to the glorious – not our glory but His glory. And it is in acts of love and compassion that we experience the glory of God, for that is when His heart is seen by the world. It is only when we humble ourselves and become servants of others that we will be allowed to enter the glorious.
The Prophet Jeremiah gave great praise to King Josiah of Israel when he said, He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.
That is the question we MUST wrestle with – “Is that not what it means to know me?”
James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, writes this in his New Testament book:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
You see, we cease to be involved in the glorious when we stop caring about people, no matter who they are, where they’ve been, or what they’ve done. And we cease to be involved in the glorious when we extend a helping hand motivated by a personal need to receive something in return. God’s heart is love, and His actions are not motivated by personal need, for He has none. We enter the glorious when we are motivated to act by love, not reward.
In Psalm 82, God has come into the council of the nations and declared this – “My judgment is that you have selfishly ruled over others for personal gain, and shown partiality to those who provide you with value. Repent of such pride, and 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. But because you don’t have true knowledge of me, the foundations of the earth will be shaken.”
That’s what I believe God is doing right now to get our attention. Does He have yours?