ODJ: reaching the margins

May 11, 2015 

READ: 1 Samuel 2:1-8 

[God] lifts the poor from the dust (v.8).

In Mumbai, India, a boy named Lakhan lives with his elderly grandmother, Sakubai. Lakhan has cerebral palsy and is deaf. With no home or family to help care for him and Sakubai, they slept on the pavement behind a small bus stop. A published photo shows 9 year old Lakhan tied to a pole—the only way his grandmother could ensure his safety when she went out to search for work. Sakubai explained her drastic action: “[Lakhan] is deaf, so he would not be able to hear the traffic coming. If he ran onto the road, he’d get killed.” Thankfully, a group that works with special-needs children heard the story, secured a room where both grandson and grandmother could live and helped the grandmother obtain a job.

The outpouring of support was heartening. Lakhan’s story, however, brought greater awareness of the thousands of disabled children in India who are destitute.

Scripture tells us over and again that God is particularly attuned to the needs of those under severe distress who are at the margins of society. We read in 1 Samuel, “[God] lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.” While He resists the wicked who use their power and wealth unjustly, God simultaneously “sets [the poor] among princes, placing them in seats of honour” (2:8).

The very ones who often seem to be the most forgotten are those on whom God’s tender care rests. God’s generosity for the struggling will never run dry because “all the earth is the LORD’s” (v.8).

—Winn Collier

365-day-plan: Job 42:1-17

Read Deuteronomy 15:7-11. What instructions does God give Israel for caring for the most vulnerable? What kind of attitudes and actions does God require? 
Who are the most vulnerable people in your city or neighbourhood? How has God equipped you to help meet the needs of those at the margins of society?