The Afflicted
(Back to Vignettes: Table of Contents)
(Printer Friendly Version)

God's Word is full of His promise of comfort and lovingkindness to those who are afflicted.  For instance:

O afflicted one, stormtossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires (Isaiah 54:11 NAS).

Shout for joy, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted (Isaiah 49:13 NAS).

But what qualifies a person as afflicted, that he may stand on God's promises to the afflicted, with the assurance that they truly apply to him?  Surveying just the book of Genesis, one finds a number of examples of "afflicted" people.  There is Hagar (Gen 16:6), who despised Sarah and then fled after Sarah harshly treated her (Heb: "afflicted her").  God promised her a son, because He gave heed to her affliction (16:11).

Then Leah, who was unloved by her husband, Jacob, conceived, "because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me" (29:32 NAS).  And Jacob was deceived and manipulated by his father-in-law Laban for twenty years, but God intervened, for "God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgement last night" (31:42 NAS).

But when Jacob fled from Laban, secretly taking Leah and Rachel from his house, Laban himself feared that Jacob would afflict or mistreat his daughters (31:50).  Laban warned Jacob that even if no man saw it, God would, and He would not let him get away with it.

By these examples, the "afflicted" are simply people who are getting the short end of the stick at the hand of other people, and who are being run over by life.  Some are afflicted innocently and through no fault of their own, and some because they are busy ignoring God while doing their own thing.

Webster's Dictionary defines "affliction" as "(1) a state of pain, distress, or grief; (2) the cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution."

God's desire is that those who experience affliction in this world would turn in humility toward Him and trust Him, because He sees and cares.  "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Psalm 34:18-19).

(Back to Top)

Call Metro (817)640-6440    Total Life Ministries    319 Osler Ste. 130 Arlington, TX 76010