Reading through the Bible together
The opening verse of this Psalm evokes a picture of a courtroom. God presides in the great assembly and gives judgment; interestingly, it’s the judges of Israel who are being arraigned. The Righteous Judge reprimands these judges for their bias towards the wicked, and implores them to protect the needs and rights of those who are defenseless.
As I read God’s entreaty to defend the fatherless and the weak and to rescue the needy, my thoughts are propelled forward in time to Jesus’ life and teachings. Luke tells us, “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor’” (Luke 4:16-19).
This same Jesus who counseled his people in the Old Testament scriptures is now showing by the example of His unblemished life how to treat the defenseless, the widows and orphans, and the poor. I see Jesus, tenderly defending the widow with her two mites. I see Jesus, beckoning to the children while urging his friends, “Let the children come to me.” I see Jesus, looking down on His heartbroken mother, and entrusting her into John’s care. What beautiful demonstrations of love! What an insightful view of how Jesus treated people, and how He wants us to treat our fellow man. What is your favorite story demonstrating Jesus’ tenderness for those who needed Him?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Amen.