Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
If I mention Proverbs 31, you most likely associate it as the passage about the virtuous woman. I do the exact same thing. However, the first nine verses of the chapter stand out as its own entity: it’s a letter from a mother to her son. From the first verse of the chapter, we know that the son is actually a king! His name is King Lemuel, and he is never mentioned ever again in the Bible. Of course, I was compelled to do some research on this mysterious king. Well, I found some interesting theories. Some people believe that Lemuel is actually another name for Solomon and that Bathsheba is the one speaking. Others think that King Lemuel is a Gentile king of Massa. Either way, we will probably never know for sure. What I do want to focus on is the content of the message.
Here you have a mother speaking words of wisdom to her son Lemuel who is in a very influential and powerful position. Whether you are aware of it or not, we are in the same shoes as King Lemuel. As a child of the Almighty King of the universe and as an ambassador of His kingdom, you have been given the MOST influential and powerful position on this planet. I don’t know about you, but my brain is not processing that information very well. Me? Powerful? I’m lucky if the person standing two feet in front of me is able to hear my soft spoken words!
As crazy as it sounds, you have been imbued with incredible, supernatural power because the Holy Spirit resides in you. Even if you are as quiet as a church mouse, your actions can change lives. With that in mind, why aren’t we changing our world? As believers, we are called to act as a representative of Christ! Our God is a God of compassion, love, justice, and great mercy. We can’t continue to let the weak and defenseless be trampled underfoot. Don’t live as cowards. Stand up and speak out for those who can’t!
First step, identify a group that you feel called to help out. Because there are so many people within your own town and in countries, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with trying to help out anyone and everyone. Remember we are appointed for specific people for specific seasons.
Second, you are not alone. God doesn’t call us to become caped crusaders or fight solo like Batman. If you try to do it alone, you will hit a brick wall faster than you can say “Burnt out.” Community is such a vital aspect of ministry. I love that there are consistent examples of disciples and believers who worked together in the New Testament. Whether it’s for accountability, an extra capable hand, or having a prayer warrior in your corner, you need people just as much as they may need you.
Third (really this should be concurrent with first and second), pray, pray, read your Bible, and pray some more. Believe me when I say that it’s so easy to jump into things before seeking the Lord on it. Sometimes things might fall into your lap, and you itch to jump on and say yes! Don’t fall into that trap. [I say this more toward myself than anyone else.] Whether big or small, always bring it before God and let Him guide you. Despite your most sincere intentions, if God is not calling you to do that specific thing then you are missing out on something greater.God knows how diverse His people are, so it’s no surprise that there are multiple avenues to practically live out being a defender of the weak. I’m just going to cover a few off the top of my head in no specific order, and this is by no means all-inclusive:
- There are some who are called to stand up for the weak and oppressed as a profession. This includes the obvious and not so obvious like being a social worker, lawyer, counselor, educator, police officer, soldier, nurse, translator, etc. Another way is through missions whether long-term or short-term. There are so many people in this world who are suffering physically, financially, but also spiritually. They are dead inside, and they need a Savior.
- Truly the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few! Help out your own community! There are so many people who fall under the radar that we are capable of helping. These are the homeless, the poverty stricken, the runaways, and the discarded. Is there gossip and conniving going on in your workplace, classroom, or home? If you see injustice, do something about it. You don’t have to be an adult with a salary to make a difference. Be a voice for the bullied. Defend your friends and family. Make a stand when no one else will.
- There are also more dangerous ways to help the oppressed such as entering foreign lands, going undercover, and covertly rescuing people. There are people who investigate, pose as “clients,” procure evidence, and rescue slaves.
- On the flip side, you can intercede just as powerfully with prayer. You have no idea how far your words will carry people. Pray for those who can’t or don’t know how to pray! Pray for the starving, the suffering, and the oppressed.
I know I’ve covered few and far between, but here’s the bottom line: God has placed you in a position of influence. Don’t become complacent in your comfortable life. Stop hesitating and doubting. Do God’s work for His glory.