Reading: Psalm 10
Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account?”
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
The LORD is King forever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror (NIV).
From the beginning, it has always been so. At the start of life there is a father. Without a father there is no life. Ponder those words for a moment.
Of course those words are true of a mother as well. But today’s psalm focusses on fathers. To be more accurate, the psalmist calls attention to the fatherless. Apparently, fathers aren’t just needed at the beginning of life; they are needed throughout life.
There are voices in our society that question the need for fathers. Life can go on without them. In some cases, life is better without them. But I would argue that that’s not life as life should be—as life was designed to be from the beginning. Our prisons are filled with fatherless men. A huge chunk of the misery, distress and degradation in this world is caused by the absence of fathers—men who fail to assume their role as fathers.
A good father—an active, involved father—makes a world of difference in the life of a child. As a public school teacher I saw the truth of this every day. The well-fathered child of either gender has advantages beyond compare on every social, economic and intellectual scale. We need fathers. I need a father—a perfect Father.
That’s why we can draw comfort and encouragement from this psalm. Twice the LORD promises to be a helper and defender of the fatherless. Jesus came to introduce us to our Father—a Father who cares.
Response: LORD God, father me. Thank you for caring. Help me become the father I need to be. Amen.
Your Turn: Has your father made a difference in your life for good or bad? Are you being Fathered?