How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble. The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, Thou dost restore him to health.
I was recently caught in a fairly intense crossfire that broke out in the midst of my eternal family (actually in an adult Sunday school class). The issue in contention just happened to be “the helpless”. More accurately it had to do with what the government’s role should be in caring for them.
I will try and reconstruct the scene of this shootout. One group (actually just one person) was advocating that the government should increase funding on the merits of the bible’s mandate to care for this group, who he saw primarily as a socio-economic class. This drew fire from the other side that advocated a reduction of funding because, in their view, the government’s involvement was actually creating and sustaining a growing culture of socio-economic helplessness.
The armed-majority, desiring a very limited role for the government proposed that it is the Church’s job to care for the helpless. The armed-minority agreed and with the biggest slug probably shot in the battle, he said, “You are right. But, the Church is not doing it!” Both sides were good shots and their bullets were finding their marks.
Attempting to stand in the middle and listen, It seemed obvious that both sides had merit to their cases but it also seemed, realistically, that the Church, regardless of her convictions, will have to partner with the government to meet the needs of the helpless at least until it is willing and able to shoulder this burden. Since we are told by Jesus, that the helpless will always be with us, we will always be addressing this issue. It will be good to keep this subject on the table before us in the halls of government and the Church.
The timing of this verse is amazing because I am attending a meeting today that is being hosted by a prominent believer who occupies one of the highest posts in Oklahoma’s Department of Human Resources who apparently has some things to say about this unlikely partnership. I will be all ears and heart. (This was written in 2012.)
While I am greatful that God promises some super fringe benefits to me if I will consider the helpless, I honestly believe there is a higher road than the divine-quid pro quo motivation. I think Jesus came to the down trodden because he loved them and had compassion on them. Something about their needs attracted His heart. Somehow Jesus is kin in spirit to this group. I don’t believe that the helpless and downtrodden are just a socio-economic class. When Jesus saw the helpless, I do not think his view was limited to the slums of Jerusalem; His vision took in the full spectrum of humanity who are helpless to save themselves from their inward poverty regardless of how hard they try. This is an arena the government cannot address – the heart of man, from which all the issues of life flow.
The dialogue that determines how the government will relate to the poor often breaks down due to the polarization of partisan politics. My hope is to one day see a Church, who by virtue of having proved herself faithful with little, is entrusted with more of this societal burden. My hope is that all men may see her good works and glorify the Father in heaven as this arena of care is entrusted, as much, into her increasingly willing and capable hands.
Father, may Your Church arise and earn the right to stand, in Your Spirit, in the midlle of warring factions and facilitate this dialogue from the perspective of Your Kingdom, free of the motivation to receive anything in return for her service other than the privilege of seeing that Your majestic Name has been duly honored. May Your Church fulfill her destiny, bringing Your Kingdom’s righteousness, peace, joy and wisdom into this arena that most see as a hopeless battle that cannot be won. Come Lord and give this mocking and unbelieving world evidence that You are a God to whom nothing is impossible. Amen.