Daily devotion

A prayer for rescue

Lord, help us to feel your closeness, especially in times of trouble.

Psalm 10

The picture of unscrupulous oppressors in an alarming one. Yet it is close to what we know of so many people throughout history, who have abused power and tyrannized others. Here, they are described as arrogant, unjust, self-eluded, manipulative and dangerous. They are bullies who take advantage of the vulnerable and care nothing for justice. They are malicious liars who have got their own way for so long that they do not think they have God to contend with. They trap, crush and annihilate their victims.

So, in the face of all this wickedness, where is God? The cry of the psalmist echoes the cries of so many who are faced with injustice and abuse. Whether it is in the political realm, in war, at work or even within the family, there are so many who have been mistreated by others who have taken power for themselves. And the question is always-where is God? The psalmist calls upon God both to protect the innocent and helpless and to punish the wrongdoer. His passion and pleading are strong: surely, the evil one must face a reckoning? Break his arm! Stop the injustice! Don’t let him get away with it!

We don’t hear the end of the story in this psalm or find out what happens to the unscrupulous oppressor, but we do receive assurances that God hears and responds to those who are victimised. God is not mocked. He will defend the vulnerable. It helps us to know that our prayers for justice and the protection of the weak are never in vain. God is eternal, and tyrants are merely mortal. However untouchable they think they are, they will be brought to account.

Pray now for those who are facing persecution, injustice and violence at the hands of people bent on destruction, and ask God what we might do to help.

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