“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
Think for a moment… who do you admire? On the top of the Gallup Poll list of the most admired people of the 20th century is Mother Teresa. We often admire people that have shaped the lives of others through a dedication that brings help to those most in need. Deep within, we know that a profound indicator of noble character is how someone treats those who can do nothing for that person in return.
God has this same view. In the opening words to the nation of Israel, God called His people to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, and care for orphans and widows. Isaiah then pronounced God’s displeasure and rejection of their religious observances because their actions were not consistent with their profession of faith. They were being hypocrites.
God’s longings for his followers have not changed since the days of Isaiah. James restated God’s perspective:
“What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27 GNT).
Jesus is the ultimate example of a person with a willingness to help the helpless.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).
How do you respond to those in the greatest need near you? Is it consistent with your experience of God’s grace and compassion in your life? Or do you do it to be admired?
Father, may I reflect your grace and compassion to each person in my day. I want to see myself and each person as you see them, as loved, valued and uniquely made for your purposes. Thank you for your love and forgiveness in my life. Amen.
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