Participation in Christ includes Rescue


Stairwell in an underground city in Turkey, a place presumably used to rescue those who were under attack. 


Scripture:

Psa. 82:0   A Psalm of Asaph.
1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Observation:

The Psalms of Asaph take on a different tone than those of David. Living in a time when Solomon has been laid to rest and powerful forces are at work tearing the kingdom apart, Asaph plays his prophetic role by speaking to the community through song. 

In ancient days judges would rule their courtrooms on a daily basis, making decisions without fear of those in authority. However, there were times when the king would make an appearance, bringing a watchful eye to the court. At that moment the king was in the court and would the tenor would immediately change for there would be no possibility of bribery or fools play among the judges (gods) when the king was present. The earthly judges were to be on guard, for God, the righteous King is in his court. 

It is in this righteous setting that God accuses the earthly ‘gods’ of using their positions for unjust gain. They are accused of failing to be responsible in their positions. They were to show justice, to defend the needs of the weak, the defenseless, those who were poor, oppressed and exploited by those with power. The ‘gods’ were to be agents of rescue for the weak and the needy, delivering them from the hand of those who would use them for their own personal and sordid gain. 

God’s kingdom is much larger than the nations of this earth. Our participation in God’s kingdom means that God’s justice must spill over into the daily life of nations and into the evil actions of public persons. 

Application:

In much of the world the political rhetoric appears to be on high volume. Each politician is touting their brand of solution to the problems which are at hand. Sadly, when you look behind the screen of the noise you will discover there is a motivation which is anything but just. Behind the tears, the shouts, and the accusations, there is manipulation and all with a goal of seizing power, and this is true across the political spectrum, from left to right. 

That’s why this Psalm speaks to us in a powerful way. God’s divine court supersedes anything that the world has put in order. As members of the kingdom of God we are called to participate in the life of Christ. If we partner with the courts of this world we will stand accused of unjust behavior. If we  participate in the life of Christ, suddenly the world, reflected in this Psalm is turned on its head. 

If there is participation in Christ, then the life of the believer is one in which justice is reflected. There is no partiality given to those who are wicked or wealthy. Justice is shown to the weak and to the orphaned. Participation in Christ means that the rights of the lowly and the destitute are defended. 

Ultimately this participation in Christ must result in rescue for the weak and needy. Rescue is not something that happens without active engagement. Rescue doesn’t happen by just thinking about it, reading good books about the needs of this world, or by only praying about it. Rescue implies action. Jesus said that the good shepherd went after and rescued the lost sheep. It required action on the part of the shepherd. The Good Samaritan is the one who took action and rescued the man who was injured. All of these reflect the very nature of Christ which may not conform to the culture of this world. 

The solutions to the problems of this world are not political, but in the lives of God’s people, who by participating in the life of Christ, are compelled to engage in acts of deliverance of the weak and needy from the hand of the wicked. 

Prayer:

Lord, may my life be wrapped up in your life, actively engaged in the needs of this world. 

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