Why Strength Exists

I recently spoke at our church's monthly Men's Breakfast (and for the record, Rod Talley and Tony Dugan grill up some seriously outstanding bacon!). We were wrapping up a year of such gatherings which has been guided by Micah 6:8, where God says he doesn't want external obedience to religious standards, but rather he wants followers who have hearts characterized by 3 things: doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

My summary for tying these ideas together is captured in the title of this post. Why does strength exist, from God's perspective? Why did he make it, and for what purpose does he bestow it on people? I think what the Bible is saying is that strength exists for the nurture and defense of the weak.

That's what the Micah passage is getting at:

  • "Do justice" refers to the many commands in the Bible to care for the poor, to deal honestly in business, to protect foreigners who have a lesser legal standing, etc. It is the call to create a just society - one in which the powerful don't dominate the weak.
  • "Love mercy" means that deep down in my heart I am passionate about serving, protecting, and providing for those around me who are in a position of relative weakness. This includes employees if I'm a boss, kids if I'm an adult, the poor if I'm wealthy, and outsiders if I'm an established member of a group.
  • "Walking humbly with God" means living in a way that reflects the simple fact that God is God and I am not. His values hold sway.
In all of this, the plight of those in a position of relative weakness is the issue for those in a position of strength. Strength exists for the defense and nurture of the weak.

In our day and age this is as radical and counter-cultural a point as ever. What is a life worth? And how can you tell? These questions become acutely important especially when we deal with the weak: the ill, elderly, disabled, etc. These folks often consume more resources than the average person, and can typically generate fewer resources. But is that how we should measure the worth of their lives?

I developed a short Bible study (which can be downloaded here) that explores the Scripture's answer to those questions, What Is A Life Worth? I hope you'll take a few moments, perhaps with the aid of this brief study, to reflect on what a life is worth and how we should express that in myriads of different ways.

What strength do you have? How can it be put to use for the benefit of those in a position of relative weakness?


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