Romans 16; 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 72
Throughout the ages there has been a tension between the “haves” and the “have nots.” In the United States, while that tension is still there, almost all of us have one thing in common: we all believe that we are “have not enoughs.” The Bible speaks on greatness where this issue comes into play. Solomon is describing a great king – one that other kings should bow down to – in Psalm 72. “Let it be so, because he delivers the needy who cry out, the poor, and those who have no helper. He has compassion on the weak and the needy; he saves the lives of those who are in need. He redeems their lives from oppression and violence; their blood is precious in his eyes.” (Psalm 72:12-14) Part of the tension between people who have wealth and people living in poverty is an issue of respect. Often, those with wealth look down on those living in poverty and treat them with derision and oppression. The righteous king is one who recognizes the worth of those who do not have wealth: their blood is precious in his eyes. That is a message we could all learn. Wherever we are on the wealth spectrum we are all debtors because we owe to each man and woman the respect due all humanity. We learn and grow from each person we meet. When we treat people with the respect and dignity they deserve we will usually find that the respect and dignity is returned. While it doesn’t always happen that way, I have learned that I always feel better when I treat people as human beings made in the image of God just as I am.
Lord God, our world is so mixed up. You have allowed us to get and use many things while You command us to love Your people. Too often I try to find ways to use people so that I can gain things. Remind me each day that Jesus died on the cross for every person I see and let me show them the same love that Jesus showed to me.