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(Part 21)


November 8, 2009

God is just and righteous, and so should we be.

Today’s psalm tells us about the justice of God in caring for the poor. We learn a number of things.

First, it is amazing that God, who is “the maker of heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them” (Ps 146:6), is mindful of the poor. No, not that it is not to be expected of God, who is pure love. But it is amazing that the Almighty, the Omnipotent One, the Creator of the whole universe, awesome as He is in His majesty, is concerned about the least among us, the nobodies of society. Those who are disdained by the world are cared for by God.

Second, poverty is the result of injustice. When people do not give to others what is their due or what is rightfully theirs, then they are impoverished. Then they do not receive what God intends for them, and they do not experience the abundance that God intends. There is more than enough resources in the world for everyone to live a life of dignity, but some take much more than their rightful share and deprive others of theirs.

Third, poverty comes in many forms. The poor are those who are hungry, those who are oppressed, those who are in prison, those who are blind, those who are bowed down, the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Ps 146:7-9).

Fourth, as the world fails in justice, it is God who stands in the gap. It is God who “secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free; the Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; ... The Lord protects the stranger, sustains the orphan and the widow” (Ps 146:7-8b,9).

Fifth, the Lord intervenes, but through other human beings, who become His instruments of love and caring. Such are those who are just and righteous, who act as God acts, who love as God loves. God secures justice for the poor by using the righteous. And here is the blessing if we are such: “the Lord loves the righteous” (Ps 146:8c).

Job was one such man.

  • He was just in his dealing with the poor. He did not deny “anything to the poor, or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish” (Job 31:16). “For I rescued the poor who cried out for help, the orphans, and the unassisted; the blessing of those in extremity came upon me, and the heart of the widow I made joyful.” (Job 29:12-13).
  • He was steadfast in his godly ways. He was clothed in righteousness and justice. “I wore my honesty like a garment; justice was my robe and my turban.” (Job 29:14). He lived righteousness and justice. “So long as I still have life in me and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips shall not speak falsehood, nor my tongue utter deceit! My justice I maintain and I will not relinquish it” (Job 27:3-4,6a).
  • He was the antithesis of unrighteousness and injustice. “Let my enemy be as the wicked and my adversary as the unjust!” (Job 27:7).
  • His confidence was such that he said, “Let God weigh me in the scales of justice; thus will he know my innocence!” (Job 31:6).

Thus did God recognize and proclaim the righteousness of Job. “Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?” (Job 1:8).

In Job we see reverential fear, righteousness and justice. Job is our model for right relationship with the Almighty.

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