Biblical Reflections, Discipleship

God Hears the Afflicted

Bible Lesson: Psalm 10

Theme Verses: Vs.17. Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them.

On 13 March 1996, forty three years old Thomas Hamilton entered the primary school in the small Scottish town of Dunblane and killed sixteen children (of age five & six) and teachers in an open firing. It was a terrible massacre that shook the world. The head teacher said, ‘evil has visited our school.’ We live in the world where there is chaos, terrorism, suicide, deception, failures, exploitation, killing, fights, wars, rage, hatred, persecutions etc. Wickedness is spreading like a disease and many are becoming victim to it. Many times innocents cry out to God when they suffer because of the evil. The passage begins with a question where the Psalmist pours out his distress about the role of God in the midst of wickedness. This is followed by forceful description of the wicked’s vicious power. Pride, arrogance, lies, false accusation, greed, deception, rudeness etc. are the marks of the wicked. But at the end, Psalmist is confident that God hears the prayer of the afflicted and gives protection to those who suffer because of the wicked. Once my daughter Jane was gifted with an air filled ‘Hit-Me’ joker toy. Whenever she used to hit on its nose, the joker used to go back and then returned to the same position. For her, this was the fun and nothing affected the toy how hard she banged. Similarly, the evil behaviour of the wicked never changes how hard they are being hit unless they lose their wickedness.

The source of evil is satan and the one who commits this act belongs to him. Those who disobey God they lose their authority and power over the principalities of darkness. They become possessed by invisible evil spirits, their heart, mind, tongue, hands, legs, thoughts gets controlled by the evil one. Ephesians 6:11-12 aware believers that they should not take the power and schemes of satan lightly. C.S. Lewis once pointed out: ‘there are two equal and opposite errors into which our human race can fall. (a) To disbelieve in the existence of satan and its power. (b) to believe as well as to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.’ The unhealthy interest means when people fall into the trap of demonic activities such as in fortune telling, horoscopes, witchcrafts, consulting dead, occult practices, feng shui, lucky charms etc. In I Peter 5:8, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. The ultimate plan of satan is to capture the body, soul and spirit of human. Jesus mentions in John 10:10 that the purpose of thief is to steal, kill and destroy. Satan is like a thief, he works tirelessly to steal our time, mind, youthfulness, talent, commitment, innocence and then kills our conscience and destroys our relationship with God and with others thus making humans a mere puppets in his hands for everlasting destruction. In 2 Corinth 4:4, Paul says, ‘the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

God’s ears are always attentive towards those who humble themselves before Him and He delivers them all from troubles. In vs. 17, psalmist acknowledges that God has not abandoned His creation and as the eternal King He is involved with His creation. He has a high concern and care for the helpless, the fatherless, and the oppressed. It may look as though the ungodly are winning the day, but the Lord will triumph in the end. Thanks to God the Father for sending His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1 John 3:8b it is written, ‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. In Christ Jesus we have power to fight against the evil one. On the cross of Calvary, our Lord Jesus Christ has already destroyed the works of the devil. Satan is powerless in front of God’s people because as God’s children we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. In Christ we have already conquered over the wicked because the One who lives in us is much greater than the one who lives in the world. Our lives are well protected and covered by His presence. The reason for our victory is that when satan comes to attack us, he sees Christ in us. God’s spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 6 are like a shield that helps us to conquer the works of the devil daily. The Word of God comforts us: ‘I, I am he who comforts you; why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die, a human being who fades like grass? (Isaiah 51:12) We are always on the winning side because we are more than conquerors.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in his strength alone;

The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own.

Put on the gospel armor, Each piece put on with prayer;

                                           Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there.                           Bart Millard