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.
– Psalm 10:17–18
Oh, I want to make the connection here between Psalm 9:9–10, which we prayed according to in a previous podcast episode when we meditated on how God is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble, how we can look to God, his name and put our trust in him and know that he will not forsake us.
Psalm 10:17–18 Teaches that God Works in Favor of the Afflicted
Well, in Psalm 10, we see the Holy Spirit through the Psalmist applying all those truths to the afflicted. “Oh Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted, you will strengthen their heart,” a stronghold kind of language. “You will strengthen their heart. You will incline your ear to do justice to…” And listen to the specific picture here, “To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,” which we saw the oppressed in Psalm 9, specifically here in Psalm 10. We see God hearing the desire and strengthening the heart and inclining his ear, “To do justice to the fatherless so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
Are you getting the picture here? God on high is for the afflicted, for the oppressed, and specifically, he is for the fatherless. And in a world where millions of children are orphans, many without a mom or a dad or a home, God says, “I incline my ear to them and I incline my ear specifically to do justice for them,” which is why God then calls his people to do justice for the fatherless, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless,” James 1:27, “Is to look after orphans and widows,” They’re in James one, “In their distress.”
Psalm 10:17–18 Encourages Us to Work in Favor of the Afflicted
So can I just lead us to pray for the fatherless specifically? And at the same time to pray that God would use our lives to do justice for the fatherless, our churches, to do justice for the fatherless. God, we praise you for hearing the desires of the afflicted in so many different ways, for strengthening their hearts, for inclining your ear specifically to do justice to the fatherless. Lord, we pray for children right now who don’t have a mom or a dad, who don’t have a home where they are shown your love as father. God, we pray that you would do justice for them. We pray that you would help them in every way they need.
I think about children in need of parents and a home in my own country, in need of foster care, in need of adoption. And then I think about so many children in so many parts of the world in similar situations, some on the streets, many on the streets. God, do justice for them and use our lives however you want to do justice for them. We pray that you would cause your church continually to rise up and to care for the fatherless, to incline our ear to do justice to the fatherless as you incline your ear to them.
God, I pray that even as the fruit of praying this right now, your spirit might prompt individuals, couples, families, to do justice for the fatherless and different ways in ways that you deem best, that you would give us all an openness to what that means, what that looks like. Lord, I pray for families who have taken steps to do justice to the fatherless and who are fostering or adopting and who experienced all kinds of challenges in that process and those families who are fostering, adopting, as well as those who are being fostered or adopted.
Praying for God’s Provision
God so much hurt, so much trauma, so much challenge in this world. God, we pray for your strength, for your help, your hope, your wisdom, your provision in every way for the fatherless and for those who step in and do justice for the fatherless. All is a reflection of your character. God, we praise you that you are father to the fatherless. We praise you for the glorious picture of adoption in the gospel, that we have been welcomed into your family as your sons and daughters, to know you as our father. God, help us to be a reflection of your character in the world around us and in this way to experience religion that is pure and faultless before you. In Jesus name, we pray according to your word in Psalm 10, amen