for there is no one besides you,
nor is there any rock like our God.
The bows of the mighty men are broken.
Those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread.
Those who were hungry are satisfied.
Yes, the barren has borne seven.
She who has many children languishes.
Yahweh makes poor and makes rich.
He brings low, he also lifts up.
He raises up the poor out of the dust.
He lifts up the needy from the dunghill
to make them sit with princes
and inherit the throne of glory.
For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s.
He has set the world on them.
He will keep the feet of his holy ones,
and no man will prevail by strength.
1 Samuel 2:2, 3-5,7-10
One of the most prominent themes in Scripture is that God is with those who suffer. It manifests itself in every book of the Bible in one way or another.
Heroes are always the smallest, the morally compromised, the second born: Moses, chosen by God to be His chief negotiator with Pharaoh, is a stutterer. Jacob, later to be renamed Israel and father of the twelve tribes, was the second born and obtained his older brother’s birthright and blessing by fraud. David, chosen to be king of Israel, was out in a field shepherding sheep when the promising candidates were lined up for selection, and the thing with Uria was pretty disgraceful.
Also, God always concerns Himself with those the widows and the orphans. Jesus concerns himself with the sinners and tax collectors, the prodigal sons, the lost sheep, the poor and the sick.
We’ve heard this so often, the existential shock of it has worn off. Historically, God’s competition was Ba’al. According to the Canaanite mythology that Judaism replaced, Ba’al was a fertility god and demanded the execution and immolation of first born children to appease him. It is said that the valley outside Jerusalem, Gehenna, stank from the smoking pyres of human sacrifice. Ba’al, like every pagan god before him, clearly favored the strong, the wealthy, and the powerful.
When, in the fullness of time, God revealed himself, he announced that He was different. God favored those who could not defend themselves and found themselves brought low.
This is our God.