Monday, June 09, 2008

Chicago (1): God's Heart for the Poor & Psalm 113

Does God even care?

I look around, and as I've mentioned before, I see hardship, toil, poverty, sadness, sickness, death, war, famine, and on and on. Granted, I see a lot of beauty as well, but when I notice these "tough" issues it is easy to ask God:

Do you really see this? Doesn't it bother you? Why don't you fix it?

Well, I am now completely aware of at least one amazing truth:

God LOVES the POOR. Praise Him.

When we see these tremendous needs facing us square in the eye, our first tendency is to think, "There is no way I can meet that need." Because we do not know what to do with the need, we often walk away from it...overwhelmed.

God doesn't do this.

Psalm 113:4-9
The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look

on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD.
God is exalted above everything, and he chooses to stoop down to look at us and our needs.
First, he SEES the poor and needy. He is aware of these needs as he comes down to our level.
Second, he RESPONDS by raising them from the dust and the ash heap. He picks them up.
Third, he DIGNIFIES by seating them with princes. He demolishes the hierarchies we set up on earth. And, the cool part about this is that we were dignified at the point of our creation because we were created in the image of God. However, we sometimes have to be reminded of this.

He sees. He responds. He dignifies.

Does he really do this? This sounds nice, but is it happening? I don't always see it.

The problem and answer: He most certainly does it...through the church. He has given us this task. Will we take it? We often blame God for not responding, but are we, as his people, his "hands and feet", responding?

God saves us, through Jesus, by using other people. Crazy? Yes. But, it's true. Isn't it? If you follow Jesus, how were you lead into that relationship? Obviously, God, in his sovereignty, rescued you, but did people play a role? My guess is yes. I pray that my heart would become more like God's.

Questions:
So, if God has a heart for the poor, how should our heart look in regards to the poor?
Are you overwhelmed by the needs of the poor? How does this feel?
What are some ways we can respond as the church? I know people are responding. Are we responding how God would have us respond?

This stuff is courtesy of Joel Hamernick.

2 comments:

hammerdad said...

Kyle,

Great Stuff. Glad to see you continuing to think about these thing. I pray that God will continue to bless your thoughts, efforts and opportunities to see Him at work, as well as to be His ambassador.

As you say, God loves the poor. Praise Him!

Joel.

Kalyn said...

wow! That is good stuff. And by good I mean life-changing. Yeah I agree! Kalyn and Ali