“Oh Lord you hear the desire of the afflicted. You will strengthen their heart. You will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
What a beautiful, powerful couple of verses. As we see in this psalm, it’s basically just exalting God and his supremacy as king over all. The verse right before this “The Lord is King for ever and ever. The nations perish from his land.” God is king, God is sovereign, God is ruler. Now the beauty in that is what comes right after it in verses 17 and 18, so the king ruler with all power and authority, he hears the desire of the afflicted.
Let’s pray that we will care for the afflicted in the way our Savior does.
Just think if that wasn’t the case. What if God didn’t hear the desire of the afflicted? What if God was like so many human pictures of power in the world that exalt in power to the point where they put down the afflicted, where they oppress.
God is the exact opposite. He is all-powerful and yet he is merciful, and yet he is loving and he hears the desire of the afflicted. And not only does he hear them but he will use his power on their behalf. You will strengthen their heart, verse 17 says. You will incline your ears. So hear this, he listens and then he acts. You will incline your ear. There’s the listening. Now here’s the action, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
God delights in doing justice to the fatherless. God delights in doing justice to the oppressed. God delights in using his power on behalf of the afflicted, the fatherless, and the oppressed. All glory be to his name.
God help us to be a reflection of his character. Help us not to turn a deaf ear to the afflicted and the fatherless and the oppressed.
In our churches let’s make sure not to turn a deaf ear. Let’s incline our ear. Let’s hear the desire. And do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed. Let’s work for the fatherless and the oppressed.
So we pray, God, we glorify your name for your power and your rule and your sovereign reign applied to the afflicted and the fatherless and the oppressed. Thank you for loving the orphan. Thank you for rescuing and defending the oppressed. We praise you for using all of your power for the good of those who are hurting and cry out to you. You hear their desire. You hear and you act, which leads us to pray, oh God, that you would use us to act on your behalf. Help us to do justice. God we pray that in our churches, in our lives, in our families we would do justice. Help us to hear the cries of the fatherless and to act.
God, we pray for the growth and flourishing of foster care ministries and adoption care ministries in and through your church. God, may we be marked by care for the orphan, justice for the fatherless. Or as we look around and see the afflicted and oppressed around us in all kinds of different ways, God, help us to do justice. God help us to hear their cries. Help us not to be ignorant of, certainly intentionally turning a deaf ear to their cries. God help us to hear what you hear and act as you would have us act, in a way that reflects your character.
God, we praise you for hearing the desire of the afflicted, strengthening their heart, inclining your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed and God we pray that you would use us to do all of these things so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more, so that your goodness and your grace and your mercy and your love might reign on the earth more and more and more through your people, expressing your character. God, may it be so we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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