Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:9)
The impact of the rule of God in life is respect and appreciation for all people. We must especially speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
The passage above was written by King Lemuel but based upon words that his mother taught him. Many scholars suspect that Lemuel, which means “One devoted to God,” was another name for Solomon. If so, the words come from Bathsheba his mother.
Whether that was the case or not, we can imagine what insights and burdens her heart must have carried. She had no ambitions to be the queen mother. She had been married to a good man, Uriah the Hittite, whom David had betrayed and murdered. It is unclear what role she had in her own “seduction,” or whether she had any choice at all, or felt as though she had no choice. Whatever happened between them, and only God knows, Bathsheba herself was never blamed in scripture. Nathan the prophet confronted David, not Bathsheba.
So God had put on her heart the importance of the king hearing those who cannot speak up, and protecting those who are destitute. And as we are members of God’s royal family by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ, we are called to do the same.
It is common for people to look up to those wealthier than them, more powerful than them. We are attracted to the handsome, clever, successful people of life. And we ignore or turn our heads from the needy, the neglected, the rejected, and the destitute. God calls us to think otherwise and to act otherwise.
There is nothing wrong with having friends, or admiring those who are successful, but we cannot leave our thoughts there alone. We must let the compassion of Christ dwell in our hearts to the point that we seek to help the needy among the world’s people.
Those who are neediest among us are not always easy to help. They are not always kind, nor are they always innocent. Usually the nearer the bottom layer of human society we come, the more conflicts and miseries and scarred-emotional thinking we find. But they are still human beings made in the image of God, and the blood of Christ was shed for them no less than it was shed for the wealthy, beautiful, and successful in the world.
The Kingdom of God in eternity will have no destitute among its citizens, and we are to give a witness today to the reality of God’s rule in our hearts then we should make genuine efforts to establish justice, and to protect the rights of the neglected and forgotten.
But we might also start with those whom we know, those around us. Who, among your colleagues at work, among your neighborhood, within your circle of friends, or within your family, are the sad, weak, helpless, and rejected. How would Christ treat them? Look around you. There are people whom you can encourage today.