Psalm 82:3 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Field story by Amanda Obemeasor, Back2Back Nigeria Staff
It was a Sunday morning a few years ago. The church was bringing attention to the worldwide orphan crisis, on a day, internationally, known as Orphan Sunday. It is a time when they told stories about children’s homes and the tireless work of organizations focused on the rights of this vulnerable population.
Nine young men recently moved into a Back2Back’s Hope House, orphaned as a result of rampant disease and violent attack on their families, sat watching members of the congregation openly mourn the orphaned child.
One of the young men was asked later what he thought of the service; “I don’t know why they’re all so upset. I’m not an orphan.” He no longer identified as an orphan. He knows he is surrounded by people who love him, who stand up for him, and who are his champion. This changes everything.
Everyone needs representation and this is what a champion does. I believe it’s here where the difference lies between having pity and defending someone’s cause. Psalms 82:3 makes it clear – we are to defend their cause. In the pursuit of helping, we must remember it is their fight, their lives, their choices. God calls advocates to set right environments, help them, set them up for success, but ultimately, it is their choice what to do.
The Message interprets this verse, “You’re here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break.”
If you asked the young adults in the Back2Back Hope Program what they wanted, they’d answer, to have a fair shake at life – a chance to change their circumstances, an opportunity to build a better life for themselves, their families, and communities. As the body of Christ, we have an obligation to defend the defenseless. And if they remain defenseless, then we have failed. We want them to now become champions, for themselves, and also for others still needing a defender. When we speak for the voiceless, we help them get their voice back; now they can fight for the weak, as they build their strength.
God is about transformation and nothing He is in can ever remain the same.
Can you think of someone in your own life who was a champion for you?
Do you feel God asking you to raise your voice on behalf of someone?