When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger…. (1 Sa 11:6).
Saul was filled with righteous indignation over the news reported to him from the men of Jabesh Gilead. The Ammonites had besieged them and threatened to gouge out all the right eyes of the men in their camp, for the sole purpose of bringing disgrace upon Israel. Saul hears of this news and the Lord stirs righteous anger inside of him over what the Ammonites are seeking to do to the men of Jabesh Gilead.
We too should be filled with righteous indignation over the mistreatment of another person. If someone is being bullied, physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally abused, we should never stay silent. If we become aware of such injustice our next response should be to rise up and defend the weak. Staying silent only furthers their oppression. Silence speaks volumes to the oppressed- it says, “We do not care about your plight, because it is of no value to us. We are happy to live inside the comforts of our own life and would rather not be bothered by the trouble in yours.” …Lord, forgive me…
In previous years, I, personally, have not done much to defend the weak, nor have I been filled with righteous indignation over their mistreatment. When I would hear of deep injustices, such as human sex-trafficking, nothing would happen in my heart. It was as if my heart was numb to the news of such horrendous corruption and debasement. I knew, this was a problem and so I asked God for a heart for the vulnerable, a love for people who are mistreated, abused and oppressed.
This is one thing I have always treasured to see in my husband, Rodrigo’s heart; a deep love for the vulnerable. I have asked God to stir within my heart the same kind of love for the weak and lonely. I am still growing, but I see my heart softening.
Caring for the oppressed takes time. This is something, in my own sinful nature that I have not always wanted to give up. I am selfish. I have often felt bothered when caring for a vulnerable person interrupts my day. When we step out to rise up for the oppressed we must understand that it is terribly messy work. It will take much of our time, love and patience. It is a dying to self to serve someone else. As Christians we should never lay back and be passive, no, we should be active partakers with God in caring for the lonely, oppressed, abused and forgotten. If righteous anger does not rise up in our hearts over the news of their mistreatment, we have a problem. It is one within our own hearts that needs to change.
Oh Lord, sometimes I feel like chief of sinners, this is one of those times. Soften my heart for the lonely and oppressed. I need your grace to cover my heart and mind when I hear of their plight. God, forgive me. I have often neglected caring for them. I have felt bothered by them. Forgive me, I am selfish and more concerned with in my own time. God, stir within me righteous indignation over the news of their mistreatment. May I never again stay silent over their oppression, but may I rise up with your love carrying me to help them, in Jesus name, amen.