Posted By Nan
He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight. Psalm 72v14 NIV.

When I was a child, I learned in history class about the dreadful treatment of the poor during Victorian times. I learned about the post world war 2 move to provide financial support for the poor, to change working conditions so workers were no longer exploited, and to ensure social justice for all people. Sadly those ideals have been replaced over the past few decades with increasingly harsh beliefs. Financial support for the poor has been eroded, homelessness is increasing, workers rights have been legislated away and social justice is not available for many people. Racism likewise is on the increase. The refugee is also suffering terribly at the hands of these policies. Many of the people who voice such harsh opinions claim to be Christians. They may even invite television cameras to film them standing in a church service with hands held high in an act of pious worship. Seeing these people reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 v 1-5:
“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” NIV

It deeply distresses me that people holding such harsh, ungodly views, claim to be Christians. It angers me that they misrepresent God and bring Him to ridicule. It also angers me that they show so little fruit of the spirit in their actions. People like that deter others from faith in God.
I have been feeling such despair for those in the world God charged us with caring for. The poor, the widow, the foreigner in our midst. I have prayed for them and my heart has been broken at their plight. God’s answer? Psalm 72, especially verse 14. These people who are so in need will be rescued by God. Their blood is precious in His sight.
That has filled me with such hope.
I have been glad that I am currently reading through the Psalms. I have been able to see how David begged God for so long for relief from those who were harsh and intent on destruction of God’s work. I have also been able to draw comfort from the fact that God answered His prayers at the right time. I have been encouraged by this.

And my prayer for the ‘pharisees’ who hold harsh opinions and claim to be Christians is that they may have a road to Jericho experience (see Luke 30:30-37) or a road to Damascus experience (see Acts 9:1-19).
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