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Monday, January 9, 2012

A changed view


I stood up for justice and the right; don't leave me to the mercy of my oppressors.  Take the side of your servant, good God; don't let the godless take advantage of me.  I can't keep my eyes open any longer, waiting for you 
      to keep your promise to set everything right. 
(Psalm 119:121-123 The Message)

Taking a stand for something in life is probably one of the most telling things about an individual.  The things or people that an individual takes a "stand" for reveal the priorities of the individual, the values developed in life learning, and the importance one places on that thing or person in their life.  Our psalmist reminds of two things worth taking a "stand" for:  Justice and the Right.

Justice is simply the moral "rightness" of a matter or individual.  In daily choices, we'd say an individual is exhibiting "just" behavior when they are allowing "moral" principles to guide their practice.  There are just some things and individuals we should stand up for - - like the widow that cannot provide for her own needs after the loss of a spouse of many years, or the orphan left with no family to surround them with the love they so desperately need.  The "right" is any matter or individual operating in accordance with what is good, proper, or just.  Really, we cannot separate Justice from the Right.  They go hand-in-hand.  

It is so easy to stand up for those we "deem" to be exhibiting "moral excellence", but how well do we "handle" those in our lives that exhibit actions we could not consistently label as "good", "proper", or "just"?  I think we might all struggle with this a little everyday - - people don't always "behave" as we think they should!  In most cases, God wants us to learn the grace of forgiving the offenses of those individuals with immediacy.  It is unthinkable that God would allow us to hold onto the injustices of these individuals and allow the injustice to become a thing we focus our attention upon.

David tells us that he has taken a stand, yet there are those who would "oppress" him while he stands.  What he describes here is the tendency of those who don't understand his "stand" to put him down for his stand.  There is a tendency to restrain actions that we don't understand - - his oppressors are likely doing this.  Their response to his "moral excellence" is conviction - - and we know that some don't like the "feeling" conviction produces!  So, it is easier to resist, or restrain, what does not produce good feelings within us.

He describes his oppressors - - the godless.  In other words, those that really don't operate by the same principled standards he adheres to.  Therein stands the "rub" - - he is surrounded by those with differing values.  Their differences become most evident anytime he "takes a stand".  Now, his only hope for being "bolstered" in his stand is the "backing" of his God!  He says he will wait for God to intervene - - though he is growing weary in his stand. 

God knows your weariness - - nothing escapes his view.  Your oppressors don't escape his view either!  He has a time and a purpose for his intervention.  We must learn to trust him "IN" our stand for justice and the right.  It is "IN" the stand we are made strong - - enduring what others would flee from.  It is "IN" the stand God meets us, grows us, and changes how our oppressors view US!  Stand on!  Cast your weariness upon the one who will lift you high!  Stand strong!  Hold onto his powerful hand through your oppression!  God is changing how your oppressors are viewing you this very day!