The book of Ezra:Concern for People
One of the biggest concerns of Ezra was the lack of devotion to God from other people. He deeply grieved over the sins of other people and wanted a revival in the nation. Likewise, especially in social work, we are able to see the mistakes people are making and crave for them to make better choices, and we need to help them do so.
• Ezra 9:6–The need to “fit in”
In today’s society, there is a great need to fit in with everyone else in society, instead of being unique. The use of drugs, being in gangs, and other social issues like this, are done so often because a person wants to fit in, but not considering that they are sinning. This does not have to be a Christian problem, because even people who do not believe have a tendency to do things they know are wrong because they want to fit in with the norm of society.
• Ezra 7:26- Punishment
A big issue that today’s society does not like is having to deal with punishments for their actions. Whether it be jail, losing their children, or having to pay a fine, people do not feel as if they should be punished. In Ezra, it says that when people do not obey the word of God, they will have punishments. Likewise, when people do not obey the law, they will have reproductions. Today’s society is so accustomed to blaming others for their mistakes, they do not want to own up to their mistakes and pay for them when necessary.
The book of Nehemiah: Being an initiator
Nehemiah 1:8-11 “The life of a servant”
Nehemiah, a servant of the Lord, offered to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Knowing he was only a humble cupbearer to the King, he offered his servitude for the purpose of the Lord. A social worker is the same. The social worker goes out of his or her way to enrich and serve the child he or she is working with. There is a connection that is formed, whether the child knows it or not, and the social worker willingly helps and restores the child to a healthy living environment. No matter what situation the child is coming from the social worker takes the position of a servant to the child making sure he or she receives the proper care he or she deserves.
Nehemiah 5:6-12 “Taking Action”
Nehemiah was a kind and loving man. In verses 6-12 we see how big his heart really is when he hears the outcry of the people and responds by immediately taking it to the nobles. He tells them that what they are doing is wrong and shows them the correct way to treat the people of their land. Similarly, social workers must be able to see when a child is in need and he or she must be able to act with haste and deliberation. A social worker must be able to look at children in need and react with care, precision and deliberateness.
Nehemiah 13:6-11 “Restoring the family”
In the book of Nehemiah, the cupbearer restores the house of God to its original purpose. Nehemiah cares and honors the house of the Lord and rebukes the men who are not properly taking care of it. A social worker holds the same responsibility in the lives of the children he or she works with. In the home of the child, it is imperative to see if the situation is fit and sufficient for a child. If the home is not fit for a child then, in the same way as the officials, the parents are rebuked for their behavior and proper action is taken in the home. It is the social worker’s utmost responsibility to determine the living situation of the child is secure and beneficial to his or her well-being.
Esther-Advocating for his people
Evidenced by: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” -Esther 4:13-14
Explanation: Esther has been called in this position of royalty to help save the Jews from being killed because their beliefs and laws they follow are different than the King has given. As being the Queen, and a Jew herself, Esther knows that she cannot stand idly by while the King and many others call for not only their death, but hers as well. As Social Workers, we are called to help and protect our clients in their time of need in a way that no one else can. We are specially trained to provide services to make the worst days of their lives just a little bit easier. Similarly, the problems that the needy and impoverished people face not only include material needs, but also providing support for them and to show that although many individuals do not see their worth and value as people, we do.
The Book of Job: Friendship
One of the main themes we see in the book of Job is that of friendship. By the second chapter, Job had already lost all of his animals, his servants, his sons and daughters, and he had been infected with boils. After hearing of his trials, Job’s friends traveled a great distance to see him and morn with him over his losses. As Christians, it is our job to be the hands and feet of Christ, and one way to display this is to be good friends to those around us.
Job 2:12-13 says that “when they looked from a distance, they could barely recognize him. They wept aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust into the air on his head. Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense.” Bruce Hurt, a commentator who studied the book of Job, said it best when he said “adversity is one of the best tests for true friends” (Hurt). He goes on to use an example of a beautiful flower that smells of sweet aroma and the bees that surround it, but once that flower begins to droop and eventually falls off, the bees go on to another flower. He uses a similar analogy speaking of a house with sunshine and birds chirping around it, but when a storm hits, the birds are no longer heard. Through these two analogies, we can see how much of an impact bad situations can have on those around us, and as a social worker, it is our responsibility to be build strong relationships with our clients so that they can build trust in us. It is our responsibility to be there for them to encourage them and help them in any way we can. Being the hands and feet of Christ can be as simple as sitting with a friend who is morning and grieving right alongside them.
Job 42:10 says “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions.” After job’s friends had blamed Job for his trials, saying that he must have committed some type of sin in order for him to have this much havoc in his life, Job still prayed for his friends. Even though his friends had given up on him and left him there to suffer alone, Job still prayed for each one of them. And because Job displayed this kind of grace to his friends, God rewarded him by more than doubling his crops and animals, as well as blessing him with more children and giving him a long, fulfilling life. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” We lean on one another for support, and praying for your friends is one of the most powerful support systems you can use in one’s life. Keeping our friends prayed up is vital, and as a social worker, we need to be praying for each one of our clients, just as we would our own friends. We may only know one or two of the trials and tribulations that they are facing, and through praying for each of them, they are protected and guided by the hand of God. To pray for someone is to be the hands and feet of Christ.
The book of Psalm-Called to BE A DeliverER
As Christians we are called to reach out to the needy and uplift them. All throughout the Bible, scripture tells us how Jesus delivered the poor and needy from their cries. If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we too, are called to deliver the poor and needy.
Psalm 140:12 says "I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy." Albert Barnes commentated on this verse saying, ""There is no reason why a wicked poor man should not enjoy God's favor ... It is neither poverty nor riches that commend men to God; it is faith, holiness, love and obedience of God's word, in whatever condition of life it may be our lot to live, whether in a cottage or a palace." This commentary is a great reminder for Christian social workers because in the work field we should have the mentality that there is no reason why a poor and needy person should not enjoy the grace and love of the Lord. As social workers we are called, according to the Bible, to bring Christ to these people. It is only through the will of the Lord that we are able to deliver our clients from their struggles but if we press onto the Lord, He will be the light in our lives that we choose to live out.
Psalm 12:5 says, "Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise," says the Lord; I will place him in the safety for which he longs." When I think of a groan I think of a cry, pleading for help. When the Lord hears this cry, He "arises." David Guzik, an author of a online commentary quotes Charles Spurgeon, "Think of God arising in his might. When he ariseth, he shakes terribly the earth; nothing stands before him when he once arises. Poor, sick, needy, sorrowing, sighing child of God, it is you who can bring him into this marvellous state of activity." I love this image of the Lord rising into action. When He hears His children cry, He is awakened into action to deliver them from their sorrows. If someone's cry moves the Lord and breaks His heart into action, shouldn't it break a social workers heart to hear the cry of the poor and needy? We should always be called into action and ready to help those in need. We can deliver them from their struggles by advocating, finding the resources they need, loving and caring for them and most importantly living a life like Christ.
Barnes, A. (n.d.). Psalms 140 Commentary - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible.Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-140.html
Guzik, D. (n.d.). Study Guide for Psalm 12 by David Guzik. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from https://www.blueletterbible.org/comm/guzik_david/studyguide_psa/psa_12.cfm
Job 2 Commentary - The Biblical Illustrator - StudyLight.org. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-1.html&p=DevEx,5087.1