God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” ~ Psalm 82:1-4
Over and over again, from Moses through all of the prophets and then Jesus and up until the Apostle Paul, God's message is consistent: care for the widow, the orphan, and the alien.
Care for the lowly. The poor. The outcast.
Parable after parable, prophesy after prophesy, psalm after psalm, sermon after sermon, letter after letter, the message is the same. God wants us to care for those who are in need.
For the Jewish people and early Christians, the most vulnerable included widows, who were left destitute often when their husbands died, orphans, who were treated as if they had no value and were property, and aliens - immigrants trying to make a peaceful home for themselves and their families.
And it was not simply individuals who were called to this justice. It fell to kings and governments as well. Much of fiery language of prophets directed toward kings was due to their forgetting God's call to care for the vulnerable.
There are prophets today who make the same call: remind us of God's charge for justice for those whom our justice evades.
Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen