A doctrinal standard of the Reformed Church in America is the Confession of Belhar, crafted in South Africa in 1986. Belhar declares that apartheid constituted a status confessionis in which the truth of the gospel was at stake. Article 4 states that "God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor, and the wronged, and that God calls the church to follow him in this, for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry."
Psalm 82 echoes this central truth about God's identity, demanding that all authorities in heaven and on earth "give justice to the weak and the orphan, maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute, rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
Created in the image of God, we are called and given responsibility to join God in the work of justice in our world today. The truth of the gospel is at stake!
God of justice, give us the courage to stand with the weak and the orphan, the lowly and the destitute. “Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!” Amen.
Psalm 82 (NRSV)
1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 "How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? (Selah)
3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I say, "You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince."
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!