Psalm 82 is God’s exhortation to people with resources and abilities regarding their responsibility to those without them. Verses 3 and 4 say, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; Maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” There seems to be four obligations. First, they must guarantee “justice” to those who have no ability to represent themselves. Second, the rights of those who can’t stand up for themselves must be preserved. Third, those with the resources and capabilities must use them to bail out those who can’t fend for themselves. And finally they should be ready to stand up against their enemies on their behalf.

Several years ago I preached a sermon to answer the question “Is it ever right to Fight?” I said yes! There are three times situations which might require a nation to go to war. First, to defend the innocent when they are under attack unjustly. Deut 19:9-10, “In this way you will be able to avoid the death of innocent people, and you will not be held responsible for unjustified bloodshed.” Jer 22:3, “Do what is right! Help those in need of justice! Quit your evil deeds! Protect the rights of aliens and immigrants, orphans and widows…” Second, it’s right to fight when peoples’ basic God given right to life and freedom are threatened. Gal 2:4f “They wanted to make slaves of us, but in order to keep the truth of the gospel safe for you, we did not give in to them for a minute. Gal 2:11 “…when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face…” Finally, to stop the spread of evil in the world. Romans 13:4 establishes governmental responsibility for the poor and helpless in the world. “For they (governments) are God’s servants working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for it is not without reason that they bear the sword. Indeed, they are God’s servants to execute wrath on anyone who does wrong.”

Jesus said that anything that’s done for “The Least of These” is done for me. Martin Luther King said, “A great nation is a compassionate nation. No nation can be great if it does not have a concern for “the least of these.”

“Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.” (Psalm 79:9)