Monday, 20 January 2014
Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble?...[The wicked] has said in his heart, "God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see." Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, "You will not require an account." But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; seek out his wickedness until You find none. The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land. Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.
This precious, not to mention fearless, little boy asked for a photo. Bonus that he didn't request for remuneration in return (sadly, the command of English possessed by the majority of kids I met in Ethiopia was limited to "hi, how are you" and "give me money"). To me, he represented the countless children suffering through the current conflict in South Sudan and elsewhere, be it the DRC, CAR, Syria or the like. It boggles my mind how we can sit down in our comfortable houses and offices everyday, have clean water and reliable electricity on demand 24/7, and usually wrestle with the problem of how to consume our surplus money or food rather than the dilemma of whether to uproot the family and flee into the bush to escape an impending gunfight, in comparison to the millions of souls that find themselves in circumstances that are virtually polar opposites.
What do we do in such a situation? Do we feel bad then promptly forget and move on? Offer a token donation to appease our conscience? Fly over in a valiant attempt to save the world? What would Jesus do? And what would He have us do? It's interesting that God didn't directly answer these questions in the book of Job. All I can do is to continue being faithful, trusting that He always is.
Psalm 94:1-3,5-7,9-11,16-19, 22-23
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth...how long will the wicked triumph?...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."...He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge? The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile...Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, "My foot slips," Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul...But the Lord has been my defence, and my God the rock of my refuge. He has brought on them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness...