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Reading:                                         Psalm 12

For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the L
ORD.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the L
ORD are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like goldrefined seven times.

You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.
(NIV)

Reflection

Who cares for the needy? The corporate titans and bank executives don’t. It seems they are far too busy lining their pockets and preparing their golden parachutes to give a thought or a dollar to low paid employees or the poor. The relentless pursuit of profit trumps all other concerns.

Who cares for the poor? The political leaders and power brokers don’t. When called upon, they mouth meaningless platitudes and profess concern. But policy is dictated by those with fat bank accounts and the right connections. They ensure that very little trickles down to those in need. In their hearts these are those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

Who cares for the poor and needy? According to the words of this psalm the LORD does. “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”

God has always demonstrated concern for the poor. The prophet Amos declared the LORD’s severe judgment on Israel because of their mistreatment of the poor. “For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not relent. They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed” (Amos 2:6-7).

Will God judge us for how we treat the poor? Absolutely. God has not changed. He defends the poor and He remains true to His word. The word of the LORD is tried, tested and true. You can count on it.

Response: LORD God, give me a caring heart for those who are poor and oppressed. Amen.

Your Turn: What can you do today for someone who is needy or suffering? Let your actions speak.