September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”—Proverbs 31:8–9 (NIV)
In our Scripture today, we find ourselves in Proverbs which is a book dedicated to sharing godly wisdom for our practical lives. King Solomon writes here that we must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Have you ever played the game One Night Werewolf? It’s a very unique board game where everyone gets assigned a character that no one else knows and then a recording is played with a narrator directing the steps of the game. The characters include werewolves, a seer, a robber, a troublemaker, and a villager. Everyone closes their eyes and “wakes up” when their character is called, which allows them to do their job or see who else has their same character. The purpose of the game is to try and guess who is who and catch the werewolves so they don’t win. Because the werewolves are the only ones who know who they each are, they can secretly work together to make sure they aren’t suspected to be werewolves.
Why do I bring this up? Well for starters, it’s a fun game that not many people know about! More importantly, this board game can help us understand what Solomon is talking about. When you play, you can support your fellow werewolves with different strategies. In the same way, there are different ways for us to advocate for other people around us. Speaking up can look like working to move legislation and create policies, defending stereotypes in everyday conversation, being a friend to those who have none, sharing a meal with someone, or using your expertise in a certain area to provide training, resources, or services to people lacking in them. Speaking up and defending the vulnerable requires action, sacrifice, and trust!
This is something the board game doesn’t fully depict well. In the game, you may be actively trying to protect and defend the other werewolves in various ways, but you’re never being direct or explicit about it. You’re trying to be sneaky and not get caught. This is not the way God wants us to treat our advocacy. When we become a voice for the voiceless, we must be ready to speak and defend them in our words and deeds regardless of whether it’s popular or not. Our faith is not a private thing that no one should see, it’s a personal thing that draws you deeper in relationship with God and with those around you!
Jesus hung out with sinners often, to the point where the Pharisees judged Him for it, yet He knew His purpose was to build relationships with those who others had given up on. We often let the world define how our relationship with the poor, needy, and destitute should look like. We let our fears and assumptions get in the way. And, although we must walk with wisdom, we must also remember that godly wisdom often doesn’t make sense to the world. The only way to live like Jesus is to first receive the love of Jesus and then abide in a relationship with Him so it will overflow out of us. We must face our fears and get uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of sharing Christ’s life-changing love!
Pause: How are you using what God has given you to serve and build relationships with others? Where is there room for improvement in your life when it comes to advocacy?
Practice: Write down at least three things God has given you in your life that can be used to serve others. It may be your business, your education, a hobby or skill, time you have for other activities, or even just a desire. If you desire to simply start somewhere, don’t believe the lies of the enemy who whispers that you can’t do it. Jump in and watch God move at CalvaryFTL.org/Outreach.
Pray: My Jesus, thank You first and foremost for defending us and stepping into our stories in order to bring redemption! Thank You for making a way for us to be reconciled to our Creator and Father God. You’re worthy of all our praise, and in that, You’re also worthy of our sacrifice and service. You’ve given me so much, thank You. Help me to give it back to You by serving others and sacrificing my time, resources, and even my fears and assumptions in order to truly become a voice for the voiceless and a friend to those who feel alone. I want to live and love like You Jesus! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.