September 16 2023
Today, Saturday September 16
Praying for Justice
O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs-- O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud. LORD, how long will the wicked, How long will the wicked triumph? They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
They break in pieces Your people, O LORD, And afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, And murder the fatherless. Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, Nor does the God of Jacob understand."
Today on Pastor’s Chat, I want to highlight a wonderful ministry that I’ve been privileged to be a part of for now over 20 years. My son, Jonathan Grooms and myself co-founded Global Partners in Peace and Development as a humanitarian non-profit organization to give God’s care to the orphan, the widows, the refugee, and the helpless and hopeless dear people of the world that the Lord leads us to help. Over these past 20 years GPPD has dug wells in remote villages in India and Uganda. Given support to widows and orphans. Supplied love, assistance, and help meet physical needs of refugees from Iraq and Syria in our refuge center in Amman Jordan. Minister to gypsies in Europe. And started and runs the Rev’ Home for 21 children in Haiti that is lead by our associate Amber Hasson.
Today, I will be playing in our annual golf tournament at Ashley Plantation in Daleville, VA that has raised thousands of dollars over the years for all the above projects. All event proceeds and donations to the Chip in Fore Children Tournament today will support the Rév family in Haiti! Rév means "dream" in Haitian Creole. The Rév family helps 21 children and youth to not just survive but thrive as they gain skills to transition into teen years and adulthood. If you would like to make a donation, please go this link, https://www.gpartners.org/golf and click on the “Give Now” button in the upper right-hand corner. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!
In Psalm 94, the unknown writer deals with the seeming triumph of the wicked and the unjust treatment of the helpless. But it is not foreign conquerors who were guilty, but the leaders of the nation cooperating with the local judges. Even the king was abusing the people by issuing unjust edicts (v. 20). Perhaps the psalm came out of the sufferings of the godly during the reign of wicked King Manasseh (2 Kings 21), whom the Lord blamed for the destruction of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:1-4). But why is this psalm included in the section that magnifies the kingship of the Lord (Psalms 93-100)? Because few problems cause God's people to question His rule more than, "Why do the helpless and the godly suffer and the wicked get away with their crimes?" When it comes to dealing with the injustices in society, Psalm 94 teaches us that the righteous have four responsibilities.
First in verses 1-7, we are to pray and cry out to the Lord for Justice. God's requirement for His people is that they "do justly... love mercy, and... walk humbly with [their] God" (Mic. 6:8), for the Lord loves justice (Psalms 33:5; 37:28) and He hears the prayers of those who have been treated unjustly (Ex. 22:26-27; Deut. 24:14-15; James 5:1-4). The word "vengeance" is often misinterpreted to mean "revenge" or "being vindictive," as though God were having a temper tantrum, but "to avenge" means to uphold the law and give justice to those who have been wronged. Since the Lord is omniscient, He is able to judge motives as well as actions and deal with situations and people justly (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 32:35, 41; Rom. 12:17-21; Heb. 10:30-31). He is the Judge of all the earth (58:11; 82:8) and always does what is right (Gen. 18:25). "Shine forth," means "show yourself, reveal your power and glory" (50:2; 80:1; Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:1-5).
We want the Lord to act immediately (v. 3), but He is gracious and longsuffering (Ex. 34:6-7) and we must walk by faith (Luke 18:1-8). The proud and arrogant "belch out" evil words and commit evil deeds, and the godly can do nothing to stop them. We need to remember that orphans, widows, and aliens in the land were under the special care of the Lord (Psalms 68:5-6; 146:9; Ex. 22:20-24; Deut. 10:18-19; 14:28-29; 24:17-18; 26:12-13; 27:19; Isa. 1:17; 7:6; 22:3). The helpless are God's covenant people and He is Jehovah—the LORD—a name used nine times in this psalm (vv. 1, 3, 5,11, 14,17, 18, 22, 23). The wicked convince themselves that God does not see their evil deeds (v. 7), but He does!
Are you praying for God’s justice for the orphans, the widows, the sexually exploited children, the refugees, the persecuted believers, and the hopeless precious people in our world today? Are you doing anything to assist them?