Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 31:1-9 (NIV)
Sayings of King Lemuel
31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. 2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! 3 Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. 4 It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! 7 Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
In what ways can you speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves?
I am so very blessed. I have the opportunity to do just about anything with my life and the abundance of my blessings. Instead of indulging in self-gratification, I want to use my abundance and my life for good. Let me speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open my eyes to the many who suffer from hunger, homelessness, and disease. There are millions under the age of 5 who die every year from conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple affordable interventions. Let me speak up and give justice to the poor and homeless. There are probably now more slaves globally than at the height of the transatlantic slave trade. Human trafficking enslaves millions of people around the world, many of them under the age of eighteen. Children and women are used and abused at the hands of others’ desires. Let me speak up to the terrible injustice of slavery. Those in the womb have no voice of their own. Through the actions of others, millions of Your children are slaughtered since their lives are not respected. Let me speak up for the unborn today who have no voice. Many around the world are in prison unjustly and often treated inhumanely. Many are imprisoned because of their bold faith in You. Through injustice, they do not have a voice and are in no position to speak for themselves. Let me speak up for the justice of the unjustly prisoned. You hear the cries and prayers of the needy. Give them hope as You work through Your people and Your church to care for their needs. Lord, thank You that I am not currently hungry, homeless, or imprisoned. I was allowed to be born, have food and access to medicine, a safe place to live, and am free. These are all precious gifts that I take for granted. Let me have compassion for the voiceless, to defend the rights of the destitute, the poor, and the needy. Let me take advantage of the multiple ministries of our church to provide ways to actively serve those in need. Let me use my abundant blessings to passionately fight for the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves and serve them in whatever ways You lead me. Amen