The Proper Use of Power
Day: 10 | Plan: Even If
Today's Reading: Psalm 82
Psalm 82:3 (ESV) "Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute."
"Peter, with great power comes great responsibility." Wise advice from Ben Parker to his nephew Peter Parker, also known as Spiderman.
In Psalm 82, we see how God views the purpose of the power He has given us. At the start of the psalm, we see that God has "taken his place." In Hebrew, it is more accurately translated as "presiding or standing" among the assembly. There is no conversation taking place, simply judgment for misuse of power. Ecclesiastes 5:8 shows that the earthly rulers who instigate injustice are being informed and persuaded by higher ones over them. In other words, the original intention of these spiritual beings was to use their power to care for the powerless before the fall of Lucifer, yet after the fall they instigate further injustice and wickedness and therefore will receive judgment.
In the New Testament, Jesus builds on the commandment given to the people of God (Micah 6:8) and gives the assignment of care for the poor and powerless to us. As ambassadors of the Most High, (2 Corinthians 5:20) we have a responsibility to carry out what God desires and describes in Psalm 82:3-4:
"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless" (Psalm 82:3a). This requires active, aggressive obedience, not passivity on the part of the believer.
"Maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute" (Psalm 82:3b). If we are to maintain what is right, first we must know what is right and believe that what is right should be fought for!
"Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 82:4). We are on a rescue mission commanded by God Himself. God has literally chosen us to make His appeal to humanity in and through us.
In light of the failure of these heavenly hosts, God steps in to institute not only judgment but also Divine rescue through His Son, Jesus. Jesus, in a unique way, relates and connects to the poor and powerless through His birth, life and death. Yet, He overcomes the powers of sin and death brought on by the evil one. Through the shedding of His divine blood, He makes it possible for us to continue in His work of rescue empowered by the Holy Spirit. The purpose of our power is to execute justice and provide rescue for the powerless. This is what God did through Jesus. This is what we are to do through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Who are those on the margins of society that we can serve by being the hands and feet of Jesus? Our faith must propel us to be faithful in our actions. As we consider how we can put our faith into action, let's consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40: "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
What will the Divine King of Heaven say to us?
Prayer: Lord, help us to consider how much You love all of humanity. Your love was so great that You made a way for Your Son to rescue us. Help us to be agents of Your rescue and empower us through the Holy Spirit. Give us wisdom and vision to move from faith to faithfulness in our actions. Give us Your love for the poor and powerless. In Jesus' name, amen.
One of the challenging aspects of this passage involves how to interpret "gods." You may wonder why... Read More
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