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Stand for the powerless

December 8, 2022

Daily Scripture

Proverbs 14:31, 31:8-9, Psalm 82:1-4

Proverbs 14

31 Those who exploit the powerless anger their maker,
while those who are kind to the poor honor God.

Proverbs 31

8 Speak out on behalf of the voiceless,
and for the rights of all who are vulnerable [Or all children who are passing away].
9 Speak out in order to judge with righteousness
and to defend the needy and the poor.

Psalm 82

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

Israel’s wisdom urged everyone to speak up for the voiceless, to care for those who couldn’t care for themselves. Many people echo Mr. Potter’s profit-driven contempt for the poor. At one point, he referred to Ernie Bishop, a Building and Loan client, as “that fellow that sits around all day on his brains in his taxi.” * Scripture’s call was not to ridicule such people, but to treat them with dignity, generosity and compassion.

  • Mr. Potter referred to people like Ernie Bishop as “discontented, lazy rabble.” To which George responded, “Just remember this, Mr. Potter—this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?” * Do you ever have chances to speak up like George, to defend the poor and the voiceless? Are you willing to use them?
  • “The psalmist paints a heavenly picture of the great assembly presided over by Israel’s God (cf. 1 Kings 22:19 ff.; Job 1:6 ff)…. it is a trial, and God presides not as chairman but as judge…. Israel’s God had a passion for social justice, as His prophets stressed. Injustice, partiality, ignoring the underprivileged who could not stand up for their rights—these were indictable offences in the eyes of Yahweh.” ** Do you believe similar behaviors are still “indictable offences” in God’s eyes today?

Lord God, the Bible shows me that you care intensely for those who are poor and powerless. You were even born and lived as one of them. Give me your kind of active caring and compassion. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

Within my role at the church as the Human Resources Lead Director, there are times when I recommend a change to how we’re doing things within the organization. It might be a new way of doing performance management or a new process for hiring or a change to a benefit we provide. What I’ve come to learn is that any time a change is made, people ask one question, “What’s in it for me?” This is generally the first thought that processes through someone’s mind. “How will this impact me? Will this benefit me? Will this create more work for me?” As humans, we’re very “me” focused. It’s just part of our nature.

How this me-centric nature plays into our spiritual life is complex. On the one hand, I think God is unwavering in his compassion for us as individuals. His love for you is profound. He sees you. He knows you completely, your good and your bad. He sees the parts of you that you’ve been ashamed to share with others, and he chooses to love you over and over again. He takes joy in your celebrations, and he walks with you in times of darkness. In 1 John 3:1 we read, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” If we were to dismiss God’s love for us as individuals, we’d be dismissing truth and opposing God’s desires.

On the other hand, God’s love doesn’t stop at the “me.” God’s love is so expansive that it invites us to think beyond the “me” to consider the “we.” We are seen by God, we are known by God, and we are deeply loved by God. This provides us the perspective of looking outside of our own needs to seek out the needs of others. God often shows his love to us through the love we receive from others, and in the same way, he wants us to show his love to others through us. When you think about it, that’s a real privilege. We have been granted the authority to spread God’s love to others on his behalf through our actions, through how we treat one another, through how we speak up for others, and through how we give. My hope for all of us is that our “me” is so filled with God’s love that in its abundance his love shines brightly throughout the “we.”

© 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.

* From

** Leslie C. Allen, “Psalms” in F. F. Bruce, gen. ed., New International Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979, p. 614.