When I was in high school, I was all about politics and political history. There was no cooler job in the world than to be a Supreme Court Justice. Think about it–you have the ultimate job security (the justices are appointed for life). You get a great six-figure salary. And (if memory serves me correctly–and it may not), the justices have a private movie theater where they would view movies of a questionable nature–stuff that may over-step the 1st Amendment free speech stuff. I may be wrong about that, but I remember one my history teachers saying something about it. Anyway, once I realized what it would take for that to happen, I quickly abandoned that dream. There are only nine spots on the Supreme Court bench, and most of those seats are filled for decades. You’ve got to be the right person who has the right connections at the right time. No thanks!
Psalm 82 is all about the Ultimate Judge, God, passing judgment on the human judges of ancient Israel. In this short Psalm, we see what is near to God’s heart: the plight of the afflicted and downtrodden. Look what God says to these human judges in Psalm 83:2-4,
How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
The author wraps up the psalm by calling on God to judge, not just Israel, but the entire earth–all the nations.
How often are we guilty like these human judges of ignoring the plight of the “less fortunate”? Yeah, we may feel sorry for them, but the feeling goes away (and we probably force it to go away). How many times do we actually see and need and fill it? Not as often as we should. We rationalize. We make excuses. We don’t want the headaches that sometimes come with helping others–we have to sacrifice time, resources, and effort… often without thanks, and often without seeing the results we hope for. So why bother?
Because God says to bother…
Jesus showed compassion like no other, and people often turned away from Him when He made the jump from the physical need to the spiritual need. It never stopped Him. The greatest act of compassion was the cross. As a follower of Jesus, I’m called to carry my own cross… part of which is developing and showing Christ-like compassion for others.
In a response to a comment I left on his blog, author Bob Roberts, Jr. (author of The Multiplying Church) encouraged me to “find those who are hurting most” and serve them. What an awesome challenge. As representatives of the Ultimate Supreme Court, that’s our job–to reflect His heart for the hurting, to step into their mess, and help by showing them how much Jesus loves them.