Reading the Word
Proverbs 23:10–11 (ESV)
10 Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you.
Understanding and Applying the Word
The orphan in the ancient world, and even in today’s world, was especially vulnerable. There was no one to take care of or protect the child. A way that someone may try to take advantage of an orphan would be to move property boundary markers. The child would not know, so it would be an easy way to steal extra land. This proverb warns that there is a strong Redeemer who stands ready to plead the case of the orphan. The picture is of God standing in a legal courtroom on behalf of the victim.
Throughout Scripture, God is said to be the one who cares for widows and orphans. God is the defender of the weak and powerless who are oppressed by the rich and powerful. He expects his people to be the same. We must always stand for justice and what is right and we must be ready to defend those who are powerless to defend themselves. And when we are oppressed or taken advantage of, we know that we have a Redeemer who stands with us and who will vindicate us in the end.
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