Throughout the Bible, when God’s people cried out for someone to meet their needs and deliver them, God sent a shepherd.
When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God sent Moses,
a shepherd, armed with only a voice and a staff.
When God’s people were routed by the Philistines, God sent David,
a shepherd, armed only with a staff and a slingshot to defend his flock.
When the world lay in sin, eternally lost and forsaken, God sent Jesus,
the Great Shepherd, to save his people. The cross is his staff.
Today, millions of American children are growing up in family situations that put them at high risk for long-term poverty, delinquency, teen pregnancy and addiction. These families are in our churches and in our communities. They are our neighbors. And, we are commanded to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19, Romans 13:9 and James 2:8).
Today, God still sends his shepherds – pastors and ministry leaders – armed with the staff of faith and a strong voice to care for, defend, and deliver these children in the name of Jesus.
The Bible teaches us that God created the family to be the primary place for educating a child on how he or she is to live (Gen 2:24; Proverbs 1), but many of our nation’s most vulnerable children are growing up in families unable or unwilling to carry out the most basic parenting responsibilities.
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.