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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
January 5, 2002

Do this because the king rescues the homeless when they cry out,
and he helps everyone who is poor and in need.
The king has pity on the weak and the helpless
and protects those in need.
He cares when they hurt,
and he saves them from cruel and violent deaths.

Psalm 72:12-14 (CEV*)

The Lectionary readings for January 6 remind us that the Bible is not only about how the average individual is to behave. It also gives guidance for those in positions of governmental authority.

In this psalm, attributed to Solomon (often considered the model of a just ruler), we are given some instruction on the concerns of a good government. The Biblical mandate to those who govern is to respond to the needs of the poor, the weak and the helpless.

Of course, these concerns are not exclusively the province of government. The Bible is full of instruction to the ordinary believer to have this same compassion. That these concerns show up over and over in the Bible in many contexts shows the heart of God, and God's desire that we share the yearnings of His heart.

We are to live a life of compassion and urge our governments to focus on the needs of the poor and the weak. May 2002 be a year in which great compassion is shown by both ordinary people and governments.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 11:59:28 EST