from the book Empowered Woman by Michal Ann Goll

He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him (Proverbs 14:31).


God wants governments to rule with justice, righteousness, and compassion, but we all know that this is not always the case. The psalmist writes, “God stands in the assembly [of the representatives] of God; in the midst of the magistrates or judges He gives judgment…. How long will you [magistrates or judges] judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? …Do justice to the weak (poor) and fatherless; maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked” (Ps. 82:1-4).

Here we see God’s heart concerning true judicial government. Such a government should not show partiality, and it should always do justice to the poor, the fatherless, the afflicted, and the needy. In fact, it should even deliver the poor and needy and rescue them from the wicked.

As followers of Jesus, we should do everything within our power to make sure that this is the kind of government we have. We should vote for godly candidates, and we should vote the wicked out of office. God might even call us to run for public office ourselves so that His justice, righteousness, and mercy can take hold where we live. It is time to stand up in the seats of government and let our lights shine!

The following Scripture shook me to the core of my being as its truth penetrated my spirit: “He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him” (Prov. 14:31). I don’t know how this could be any clearer.

I would like to think of myself as a righteous person, but there have been many, many times when I’ve had to repent of my lack of mercy and my unwillingness to tune my heart to God’s heart.

My desire is to be like the woman who is described in Proverbs 31: “She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit] (Prov. 31:20). This verse speaks volumes to me, for it shows a righteous woman in action.

I once had a dream in which I saw 20 or 30 people standing all around me. It seemed that they had been witnesses of my life. One particular man who was standing over me had a spirit of prophecy resting on him. He reminded me of an old-fashioned water pump, the kind where you prime the pump first and then start moving the handle up and down. I sensed that, as this man moved from side to side, the water of God’s Word was building up inside of him.

In this dream I was very sick. My body was crumpled over an old stone wall, and I was crying, “Will someone get me a doctor? I’m very, very sick!”

Everybody stared at me, and the man I mentioned said, “Don’t you know you’ve been called to prayer and fasting?”

I said, “I need help. Will someone please get me a doctor?”

Again, he said, “Don’t you know you’ve been called to prayer and fasting?”

I whimpered, “Please! Somebody help me! Please! I need help!”

The man stood in front of me and repeated, “Don’t you know you’ve been called to prayer and fasting?” Then he added: “Don’t you know that if you would enter into prayer and fasting, you would extend the orphan’s bread from three to five days?”

This question hit me hard. I began to see that what I needed was not a doctor after all. What I really needed was to obey the Lord by entering into a place of prayer and fasting.

I’m terrible at fasting. I really am. Fasting represents a monumental struggle with my flesh. I really have a hard time with it. God’s chosen fast, however, goes beyond the issue of food and flesh; it goes deep into your heart.

God’s chosen fast becomes a lifestyle that we are called to embrace. What is His chosen fast? The Bible tells us, “[Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?” (Isa. 58:6). Now that’s a powerful fast!

Have you entered a fast that divides your bread with the hungry? Have you brought the homeless into your home, covered the naked, and provided for the needs of your family and all those around you? (See Isaiah 58:7.)

This is God’s chosen fast, and it is truly an exciting fast in which to get engaged, for this is always its result:

Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you (conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8).

I don’t know about you, but I’ll sure take that. This is God’s chosen fast for you and me.

Jesus always saw the need first, then He was moved with a compassion so strong that it always led Him to do something in response to the need. Matthew writes, “When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).

If you have compassion, you will be moved to take action, as Jesus always was and is. God wants you to know His compassion, receive His compassion, live His compassion, and share His compassion with others.

Compassion will move so deeply within your being that many times you will find yourself moved to the point of tears and agony. Ah, this is a beautiful place. God places great value in your tears, and as we turn to the next chapter, you will discover this is a deep well which moves Heaven on behalf of others.

Meditation by Michal Ann Goll  

Heavenly Father, we come to you right now in the name of Jesus. We ask you to light the fire of passion in our lives and let it become the kind of compassion that doesn’t just look at the need, but looks to you. Help us to become so passionate for loving you and knowing your heart that we will move in compassion to all those in need. We ask that you will bring about a corporate shift of thinking and acting in the entire Body of Christ, that your people would become passionate about compassion by being passionate for you.

We cry out to you, Father, and ask that you would take the Scriptures we’ve read and discussed in this chapter and drop their truths deep within our hearts. Let your Word continue to flow within the depths of our spirits so we will be able to receive all the spiritual nutrients you have for us. Drop your plumb line of justice through all of our thoughts and feelings, all of our traditions and training, and let us learn to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Michal Ann Goll

As recorded in Empowered Women