For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song.
May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. May you blow them away like smoke—as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun- scorched land.
There is no denying the importance of a human father—a dad who engages in the lives of his children. But when a dad is absent or not engaged there is One who never forsakes. He is a father to the fatherless. He is our heavenly Father.
Emotions are heavy when you lose the love of your life. Grief makes us vulnerable to those who would take advantage. But God is the defender of widows. He defends those who can’t defend themselves.
You can feel alone in a room full of people. You can feel unwanted even though your calendar is packed with meetings and events. But God provides community for the lonely. We never have to walk alone. He is always with us.
The bars of a prison cell are constructed of different materials. Some, for sure, are made of iron. Others are formed with bitterness, an unwillingness to forgive, and paralysis by past sin and failure. But God breaks through prison bars and leads the prisoners out with singing!
Lord, I am fatherless. Be my heavenly Father. I am vulnerable. Protect me. I am alone. Let me experience community. I am in prison. Release me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.