I remember these words leaving my lips when I saw a smaller boy getting picked on by children in my grade. I knew this boy would have been clobbered if someone didn’t stand up for him and I was always taught to defend those who need defending. So, I threw it out there to these boys: “leave him alone!”
Unbelievably, they did leave him alone and this boy remained a friend throughout elementary school. Even children recognize those with power must care for those without it. It doesn’t change as we age as Proverbs 31:8-9 remind us:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
The instructions from the King to his son were clear: defend the defenseless. And this should have been the mandate of the King of Israel. After all, the earthly represented the Heavenly King to the people. Our Lord is very concerned for the needs of those who don’t have as much as another. Often, the Lord uses those who have to give to those who have not.
As a holy nation (cf. 1 Peter 2:9), we as Christians are not removed from this obligation. Nowadays, it’s noble and popular to care for the poor. It’s not that it’s a bad thing—not at all. It’s just often done for the wrong reason.
Without Jesus in our lives and as our motivating force, we are caring for others out of selfish motives. We care for those who will bring us the most credit instead of those actually needing the most help. In other words: we are doing it because of what it does for us instead of what it does for them.
Really? Did I just write that?
Yes. Yes I did.
Here’s why: Jesus was concerned for the orphans and widows. These represented the parts of society that were easiest to forget. In a sense, they were a burden to everyone else. Jesus was showing us to be His hands and feet and bless those people with His love and provision.
Who are those who need to most helped today? Here are few: the elderly, the mentally challenged, the bullied, and the unborn.
This is why we “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” They have no power and we have some. I know there are some of you who sharply disagree with this but the greatest example of those who cannot speak for themselves are the unborn. Abortion is a scourge on our nation and reminds us as Christians that we have not opened our mouths for those “who cannot speak for themselves.”
We defend the defenseless not because it’s easy, simple, friendly, fun, or popular. Instead, we do it because we have been brought from darkness into light by the lavish grace of God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.