“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—his name is the Lord— be exultant before him. Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” vss. 4-5
The ancient Canaanites worshipped a storm god who rode upon the clouds, showing his strength and power with periodic displays of thunder and lightning. The Israelites were familiar with this god and incorporated his attributes into their songs of praise to the Lord, who–in their estimation–had brought all things into existence. But the Lord did more than ride upon clouds…he was the father of orphans and the protector of widows…he looked out for the poor and the helpless. That sense of God’s benevolence that we glimpse in Israel’s psalms became foundational for followers of Jesus. We continue to believe that the God of the Universe, the one who became flesh in Jesus, has a heart for the weak and the outcast, not just widows and orphans, but all who fall by the wayside in humanity’s ongoing competition for dominance and wealth. Some might scoff at this notion and ask why such folks have such a hard time if God is on their side. The answer of course is obvious. God cares, but we don’t…and we are the hands and feet of God in this world. We can’t blame God for neglecting the poor when God has provided everything that is needed to help them. The truth is that when we fail to care, God’s work doesn’t get done!
Thought for the Day: Why do I think everything I have is mine?