13 Why do the wicked reject God?
Why do they think to themselves
that you won’t find out?
14 But you do see!
You do see troublemaking and grief,
and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
You are the orphan’s helper.
15 Break the arms of those
who are wicked and evil.
Seek out their wickedness
until there’s no more to find.
16 The Lord rules forever and always!
The nations will vanish from his land.
17 Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer.
You steady their hearts;
you listen closely to them,
18 to establish justice
for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that people of the land
will never again be terrified.
I was in a store parking lot, when I heard a man angrily shouting out his car window at someone, “Get a job!” I looked up to see another man holding a sign that said, “Please help-God bless you.” As I walked into the store, people who had witnessed this scene reacted by siding with the shouting man’s sentiments, “It’s a scam, don’t give him money.” Others sided with the begging man’s plight, “He must be desperate to beg.” As we entered the store, a woman said, “Well God helps them who help themselves.” She said this as if she had just passed a sentence of judgement on the sign holding man, without even knowing his story. When I came out of the store I looked for the man, but he was
Today’s psalm actually starts out as a lament for the poor and afflicted, but it ends in a powerful song that celebrates God’s power and justice for those who are oppressed and exploited. This Psalm is so relatable because the psalmist starts the psalm (verse 13) by asking God “Why?” Why is God so far away in troubling times? Why do the wicked reject God causing troublemaking and grief. But the psalmist proclaims that God does hear the cries of those who suffer and God will steady their hearts, bring them hope and give them justice. God will turn their suffering into joy. The psalmist sees a time when the nations will fall and God will rule with justice so that the people will never be terrified again.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
We know that not everyone can help themselves. Sixty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Many homeless who live in shelters work at low paying jobs. One major life event can alter our lives in unimaginable ways and leave us dependent on the help of others. While we may see ourselves as self sufficient, all the blessings in our lives have come from God, so that we can help to bless others. Our salvation through Jesus is the unmerited grace of
God who loves us. We are called to love God, serve people and transform lives.
As Methodists who follow Jesus, we promise to serve others by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. Today, look for ways to bless others, as God has blessed you.
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, open our hearts to those who cannot help themselves. Lead us to bless others as you have blessed us. Amen.