When 33-year-old Bob Pierce was in China holding evangelistic meetings, he was introduced to an abandoned Chinese girl. After she became a Christian, the girl’s father beat her and threw her out into the street. She had lost everything. Moved by her story, Bob gave the young girl the last five dollars in his pocket, promising to send more. This simple act of generosity in 1947 led to the founding of World Vision, an organization through which God’s people have supported and protected millions of needy children! God had a plan, not just for that girl but for Bob as well.
Psalm 82 provides a unique, prophetic look into the spiritual realm. The first verse portrays God as handing out judgment against the “gods.” These are angelic beings who had been given some degree of influence in the world (Deut. 32:8–9). God judges them for showing “partiality to the wicked” and failing to “uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed” (vv. 2–3). Their failure to stand up for and protect the most vulnerable in society led to God’s condemnation: “I said, ‘You are gods; you are sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere mortals” (vv. 6–7). This judgment is described in Isaiah: “In that day the Lord will punish the powers of the heavens above and the kings on the earth below” (Isa. 24:21).
This psalm clearly demonstrates God’s sovereignty and authority over every power and principality, whether in heaven or on earth. It also demonstrates God’s heart for the weak and needy. The church today should also be concerned with care for the poor and oppressed. When we claim to have faith without works—it is no kind of faith at all (James 2:5–6,14–17).
>>What are you doing to extend God’s love to the weak and needy? Consider joining an effort in your own community to offer tangible help to those in need. Or, give financial support to a worthy organization.
Merciful Lord, fill us with compassion for the needy and defenseless. Show us ways to serve the weak and the poor. We seek to obey and honor You!