“…for the LORD will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.”
Proverbs 22:23 ESV
It is so interesting to reflect upon what experiences survive the long “memory journey” from childhood into adulthood. Usually it’s quite a few bizarre and random ones, hopefully with one or two meaningful ones mixed in. My Spanish is mostly gone. A couple family vacations are mostly gone. I do, however, seem to have retained my memory of a very cool toy I played with at a friend’s house when I was five-ish. That’s useful.
Thankfully, there are one or two Bible verses floating around in my memory bank, also, that I’m hoping stick with me for all the way into eternity. They end up being my pillars of reason when trying to assess new information or make challenging decisions. For example, one of my favorites is James 1:27…
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
For some reason, that verse has stuck with me as long as I can remember. I like that God has clearly defined something that we/our world has let become warped. He is very clear that we should care for orphans and widows. He gives a similar message a couple times in Proverbs as well. I love hearing his defender voice – it helps me feel the fullness of his justice and protection, even though I am not [technically] an orphan or a widow.
“Do not rob the poor because they are poor or exploit the needy in court. For the LORD is their defender. He will injure anyone who injures them.” Proverbs 22:22-23 NLT
The LORD is the defender of orphans and widows and of the poor and the needy. At first glance, those categories seem small and specific, but each of us fit into at least one of those if you really think about it. How cool is it that the LORD is our defender. He stands behind us, regardless of whatever has brought us to the place we are at right now in life. We are HIS orphans and HIS widows and HIS poor and HIS needy. And because of whose we are, we are orphaned, widowed, poor and needy no longer. He is our Father, our bride-groom, our riches and our fulfillment.
And when I look back on all the memories I carry with me to this day with THAT perspective, every single memory is much less in need of redemption than before. I don’t need to justify the mistakes of my past with my current actions – He’s got my back.
Dear LORD, you take such care to remind me in so many ways that I am yours and I have nothing to fear. Forgive me for forgetting this so quickly. Please continue to teach me how to serve you and love you with my thoughts, words and deeds. Amen.