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God says, "Serve those who need it most"

June 23, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Psalm 82:1-4

1 God takes his stand in the divine council;
    he gives judgment among the gods:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
    by granting favor to the wicked?
3 Give justice to the lowly and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the poor and the destitute!
4 Rescue the lowly and the needy.
    Deliver them from the power of the wicked!

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In this psalm, God gave the “divine council” a basic principle: ensure justice and rescue for “the lowly and the needy.” Some Hebrew writing used images common in the nations around them like the “council of gods.” But Israelites saw the one true God as presiding—what we call “angels” were the council members (cf. Job 1:6). Widows or orphans in that day had no legal or social status without a male relative. They couldn’t help themselves. Yet the psalms and many of Israel’s laws said God cared passionately about helping the most helpless.

  • Psalm 82 represented a whole strand of Israelite worship. For example, Psalm 146:9 sang the praises of “The Lord: who protects immigrants, who helps orphans and widows.” But God usually acts through people (us!) to accomplish divine purposes. In what ways, big and small, can you partner with God in carrying out God’s wish for justice and rescue to take place on earth?
  • A key part of our Methodist heritage came from John Wesley’s stress on holding together the “evangelical gospel” (the good news of salvation as God’s gift, received by faith) with the “social gospel” (the good news that God actively seeks justice and help, particularly for the weak and powerless). When have you needed spiritual salvation? When (if ever) have you felt powerless, and needed justice or help? Why is it important that God’s people address both needs?
Prayer

Lord God, I trust you to be my help and my strength, even when all else fails me. Use me as one of your instruments to bring justice to your world. Amen.

GPS Insights

Jacob Hery

Jacob Hery

Jacob Hery is a Summer Intern serving in Resurrection’s Modern Worship ministry. He hails from Houston, Texas. He is currently pursuing a degree in Commercial Music with a concentration in Songwriting at Samford University. Jacob is passionate about sharing the heartbeat of God with the world through music.

Growing up I believed the primary thing Jesus called his followers to do was to go to church on Sunday morning for worship. There you sang pretty songs, heard a nice message, and maybe even got a snack during communion. However, as I’ve gotten older and have studied the life of Jesus I see the way he lived. And that did not seem to be the most important thing in Jesus’ life.

Jesus had fellowship with the outcast of society daily. Those whom his peers deemed unworthy of being treated as a fellow human, he had dinner with all the time. He desired to lift these people up through relationships and service. Jesus was never afraid to heal the leper,  eat with the tax collector, or talk to the woman at the well. Jesus fought for justice in every aspect of his ministry. Always inviting others in. Always making his circles bigger.

This is how we know that we are called to fight for justice. Jesus sees “the lowly” and lifts them up. So as his followers, it is our job to do the same.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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