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Devotional: August 20, 2021

12 Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed. 13 Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, ‘You will not call us to account’?

14 But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none. 16 The Lord is king for ever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.

17 O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear 18 to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

Psalm 10: 12-18 NRSV

The Word of God is not something static. Instead, it is a living document used by the Holy Spirit to allow God to speak to us today, and down through all times.

Take this Psalm, for instance. Psalm 10 is not one of the more well-known Psalms. However, reading these words and realizing what is happening right now in Afghanistan can help us to see this message in a new light.

Many of us are very concerned about the Taliban oppressing the Afghan people, especially women and children. If that happens, will God hear their cries? Will the Lord see their pain?

This Psalm answers this question definitively. “But you do see!”, the Psalmist exclaims, as he writes about the Lord’s attentive eye upon the oppressed.

This Psalm, like so much of scripture, reminds us that God is on the side of the oppressed. They think they will not be held accountable, but the Lord does see them. What’s more is that God will eventually judge those oppressors. They will be brought to judgment!

The last phrase in this Psalm reminds us that God acts to “do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.”

In a world fearful of terrorists, and the fear they strike in the hearts of many individuals, these are very good and reassuring words. The reign of terror WILL end. The Lord will see to it. Therefore, we praise God for His promise to bring about justice, especially for those who are oppressed…

Prayer

Lord of all,

I know that You are a God of justice, and I praise You for your fairness and wisdom. I lift up the oppressed, who have no voice for themselves. Give them the strength to persevere, even when there is a sense of hopelessness. You are the God of hope! I ask for an end to the reign of terror so many of the meek in our world experience daily. May your kingdom come quickly! I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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