S (Scripture): Psalm 109
28 Let them curse—but you, bless me!
If they rise up, let them be disgraced,
but let your servant celebrate!
29 Let my accusers be dressed in shame;
let them wear their disgrace like a coat.
30 But I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth;
among a great crowd I will praise God!
31 Because God stands right next to the needy,
to save them from any who would condemn them.
O (Observation): The psalmist knows the deep, deep needs of the helpless. When others persecute the author, the author seeks God to sustain him or her. This is the source of thepsalmist’s hope: God stands right next to the needy.
A (Application): Re-read the title of this post. How did finish this sentence: “God Helps Those Who…”? Did you automatically fill in “…those who help themselves”? I did. And yet…this psalm seems to point in another direction: “God Helps Those Who are…needy / helpless.”
Doesn’t seem fair, does it? God should reward those in control of their lives. (Who is ever in control, really? No one!)
Yet in the Scriptures (and many of us attest from personal experience) we see God helping those in need, too. Standing next to those in need…protecting them…bringing resources around them…caring for them.
I thank God today for standing next to the needy. And in some way in all of our lives, we have a need: forgiveness, humility, financial need, need of friendships, awareness of injustices around us, and more.
May God stand with all experiencing devastation from natural disasters. Today, we seek God’s guidance on how to react to the devastation in Peurto Rico. A quote from a Vox article:
“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,” Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez told CBS News. “I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island’s greenery is gone.”
Looking back, can you remember a time when a need arose in your life, and you realized God was standing with you? I have numerous times through seminary and my family life and in my ministry. Sometimes we can only see God’s presence looking backward in our lives. Savor those memories. This is a building block of our faith.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to know that you stand with us and others in our need. Amen.