Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Free Quiz: Are YOU an Anawim?

Are you an “anawim”?  Take this quiz to find out:

1. You win the lottery and get a million dollars—what would you do with it?
a. Take a trip around the world
b. Pay off what you owe to others and give the rest away to those who also have needs.
c. Invest in your future
d. Get a big house for your family and a few others you know.

2.Would you ever find yourself homeless?
a. I’d never let myself get in such a position
b. Too late! I’ve already been there!
c. I try my best not to find myself that way
d. Who knows where God would lead me?

3. How important is money in your life?
a. How could anyone live without money?
b. Money is a useful tool, but I don’t really need it
c. I need more of it!  Now!
d. I wish I didn’t need it, but it’s essential

4. How do you feel about our society?
a. The world has never failed me
b. I wish God would take it away and create a new one
c. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best society anyone could ask for
d. It is deeply wrong, but it can be fixed

5. How much suffering have you experienced?
a. I know what I’m doing—I’ve always avoided suffering
b. I’d love to start my life over
c. God’s always blessed me, I’ve never experienced that much suffering
d. I’ve had rocky roads, but God has helped me survive.

6. In times of difficulty, how would you describe your relationship to God?
a. God isn’t involved in my life.
b. I cry out to God until He helps me out.
c. I don’t pray much, but I know God is there.
d. I see God as my comfort.

7. What is the most important support in your life?
a. My regular check
b. My relationship with God
c. My family
d. My church

Answers at the end of this post.

Mommy, what's an anawim?
We invent words all the time.  Every sub-culture has its own vocabulary that no one else understands.  Some sub-culture words enter into the mainstream, such as “dis” or “dysfunctional” or “anti-disestablishmentarianism”, but most words remain obscure to all but a small segment of the population.  English has the capacity of a million words, but we will typically only use 20,000 on any kind of regular basis.  Why so many words? We do this because we have concepts that we use frequently, and so we invent new words (or import words from other languages) that communicate succinctly what we want to say.  After all, why say “the study of the end times” every time that subject comes up, when you could just say “eschatology”? (Which begs the question as to why the Russian language has reserved one of their most difficult-to-pronounce  words for “hello”).

            In Hebrew there was an idea that was frequently used in Scripture, and supposedly in everyday life, so that a new vocabulary word had to be invented.  The idea went something like this—“You see, there are these people, but they’re poor—or, well, most of them are economically poor, but not all of them.  Well, actually, they are rejected by modern society, outcasts… well, not always outcast, but they aren’t in the mainstream, and they are looked down on.   And sometimes they’re just sick.  Or attacked.  Anyway, it seems like nobody likes them.  But they are righteous—um, well, righteous in a way, anyway.  As a group they seem to sin a lot—but they repent!  Of their sin, that is.  I mean, they really regret it and they do what they can to stop the sin.  But they pray a lot.  Not to be holy, because these people aren’t holier-than-thou—uh uh, no way.  No, they pray because they need to ask God some pretty big requests.  Like for their basic survival.  And to be delivered from their enemies.  And for justice.  And instead of scrambling around working on every plan to get them out of their troubles—like that would help, anyway—they depend on God.  Yeah, that’s who they are.”  That’s a mouthful.

            So who are these folks, exactly?  Let’s get organized:

  1. They are vulnerable
They are in a place that they are exposed to difficulties.  Perhaps they are a part of a social group that is vulnerable, or they have chosen to expose themselves to a hard life.  Whatever the case, difficulties often come their way because they are unable to fully protect themselves.

  1. They are oppressed
Because they are open to difficulties, there are some people who will take advantage of them.  So, at one point or another, the anawim experience theft, hatred, rejection, and sometimes violence. 

  1. They have experienced poverty
They don’t have to be poor, even as the long-suffering Job was actually wealthy.  But it is more likely that the anawim will be poor, and they certainly have experienced poverty at one point or another in their lives.  The anawim don’t have to have a low income, but it is likely that they don’t have much in their accounts at any given point.
  1.  They have experienced the failure of worldly systems
They, because of their vulnerable position, find themselves in a place where the world cannot help them.  The world doesn’t set up its system of help for these kinds of folks, and if the world does help a little, it is not enough to pull them out of their difficulty.  The anawim has found that they can’t depend on their governments, their families or their religious groups.

  1. They depend on God
Because the world can’t (or won’t) help them, they have found that the only one who will be there for them is God.  And God has truly been there for them.  They have still suffered deeply, but God has helped them survive in surprising ways.

  1. They live for God
Out of gratitude, they try their best to live for God.  They may not look or act like saints all the time, but they are doing their best to live a right life before God.  And because they have experienced oppression and poverty, they will try to never cause another to experience such things, but do their best to be merciful.

 In sum, these folks are the poor or outcast who depend on God for their deliverance.  “Deliverance” doesn’t mean some spiritual transformation, but it means that you’re in trouble and you need to get out of it.  So the Hebrews had this idea, and because they didn’t like the option of saying “outcast who depend on the Lord for deliverance” every time they used the concept, they shortened it.  The word is anawim.  (This word will no longer be italicized for convenience’s sake.  My convenience, that is.)

            Yeah, right, that’s the name of this site.  Or something similar to “anawim” anyway.  We’re going to be talking about them for a while, here.  But you probably already got that idea.

            The word is used a lot in the Hebrew Scriptures.22  The root of it is used some 116 verses.23  It is translated as “poor” or “needy” or “afflicted”.  And when the New Testament (in Greek) uses the words “poor” or “meek” or “humble” they are referring to this concept.  Forms of these Greek words are used in the Greek Bible (Old and New Testaments) in some 329 verses.24  Anyway, you get the idea.  It’s a busy word.  This is no small idea in the Bible.

            On occasion you might hear about this idea.  In English theology you might hear the phrase “righteous poor” flitting about.  But it is never covered as a major theme in theology.  Nor is it often mentioned by preachers, teachers, Bible Schools and their ilk.  They’d rather talk about the other major words of the Bible, such as “grace” (277 verses OT and NT use that word), “predestination” (6 verses), or, “Trinity” (0 verses).  But Jesus used this concept quite frequently.  It was very important for his theology.

But, before we get to Jesus, let’s see the answers to the quiz!

If most of your answers are “a”:
You aren’t one of the Anawim at all.  You are self-reliant, and it’s pretty much worked out for you.  However, God’s word warns that you will be heading for a fall—get ready for it!

If most of your answers are “b”:
You are Anawim!  You have suffered much in your life and looked to God for help.  Perhaps sometimes He helped you, and sometimes He didn’t do as much as you wanted—But God’s promise is that you will have another chance at life to make up for this sucky one!

If most of your answers are “c”:
You aren’t really anawim. You’ve had some difficulties in your life, perhaps, but not enough that you’ve really had to desperately seek God.  Again, difficulties will come—get your relationship with God in a place that will prepare you for that coming trial!

If most of your answers are “d”:
You are really close to being anawim.  You’ve had some difficulties, and you want to do what is right before God.  But God alone—not the church, not your job, not your family—is the answer to the problems in your life.  Depend only on Him and He will deliver you in times of trouble.


  1. Let me list some of the verses that include the term ana or anawim just in the  Psalms:
For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.” 9:18

“O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear” 10:17

You save an afflicted people, But haughty eyes You abase. 18:27

“The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! 22:27

He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 25:9

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his trouble 34:6

But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. 37:11

Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God. 40:17

May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. 72:2

When God arose to judgment, To save all the humble of the earth. 76:9

If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction 119:92

The LORD supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground. 147:6

  1.  Some of the more important places ana or anawim are used in the Hebrew Scriptures are: Genesis 29:32; 31:42; 41:52; Exodus 3:7; Exodus 22:24; Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 15:11; 24:12, 14-15; I Samuel 1:11; II Samuel 22:28; Job 24:4, 9, 14; 29:12; 30:16; 36:6-8, 15, 21; Psalm 9:13, 19; 10:2, 9, 12; 12:6; 14:6; 22:25; 25:18; 31:8; 34:7; 35:10; 37:14; 68:11; 72:2, 4; 74:21; 82:3; 88:9; 102:1; 107:41(heck, the whole of Psalm 107—just read it!); 119:50, 92, 153; 140:12; Proverbs 3:34; 14:21; 15:15; 16:19; 22:22-23; 31:9; 31:20; Isaiah 3:14-15; 10:2; 41:17;  48:10; 49:13; 51:21-23; 54:11; 58:7; 66:2; Jeremiah 22:16; Ezekiel 16:49: 22:29-30; Amos 8:4-7; Zephaniah 3:12; Zechariah 9:9.
  2. The term ptoxos is used for “poor” in the Greek, both in the translations from the Hebrew, as well as in the New Testament.  The Greek work tapeinosis is used for “affliction”, and the term tapeinos is used for “humble” or “meek”.  These are the words usually used to translate ana or anawim in Hebrew. Let me give some of the New Testament passages (I don’t know why I say “let me” when I’m going to do it, whether you like it or not): Matthew 5:3-5; 11:5, 29; 19:21; Mark 10:21; 12:42-44; Luke 1:48,52; 4:8; 6:20;14:13, 21; 16:22; 19:8;  Acts 8:33; Romans 12:16; II Corinthians 7:6; Philippians 3:21; James 1:9, 10; 2:1-6;  I Peter 5:5; Revelation 3:17.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pride and Prejudice (Based on I Samuel 1-3)

My heart exults in the LORD;
My horn is exalted in the LORD,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.
The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
And He set the world on them.
He keeps the feet of His godly ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness;
For not by might shall a man prevail.
Ancient Hebrew Song, otherwise known as I Samuel 2:1-9

Eli and Samuel, two ancients, have a heart-to-heart.  For an ancient, Samuel is pretty young, about ten.  Eli, though, is pretty old and tottery.  Eli is the priest in charge of the tabernacle, the center of prayer to Yahweh, the God of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Samuel is his adopted son and assistant.

Eli: Samuel, my son, come to your old man and let’s have a talk.

Samuel: Is this another one of those serious talks?

Eli: Well, yes, it really is.

Samuel: (sighs) How many of these will we have?  C’mon, can’t I figure out something by myself?  Hey… you aren’t going to tell me about the locusts and the bees, are you?  You know that Phinehas already let me know about that.

Eli: Yes, I’m sure he has.  Probably more than he should, too.

Samuel: I don’t know, I’m still curious…

Eli: (Interrupting) Yes, of course you are, son.  But I want to talk to you about other matters.

Samuel: Okay, shoot.

Eli: As you know, someday you will be judging Israel

Samuel: You mean, telling everyone how they suck?

Eli: No, that’s what Hophni and Phinehas often do…

Samuel: Oh, you mean standing before people and telling them what they should do.  Oooo!  I can’t wait!  Can I tell Hophni what to do?  He’s bossy…

Eli: No, son.  The people come to us from all over the twelve tribes in order to worship Yahweh and to request from Him guidance.  We are the only ones who hold onto God’s law, and so we receive of their meat and then we declare the law of God to them about their difficulties.

Samuel: Don’t they have people who can give them wisdom in their own towns?

Eli: Yes.  But only we are keepers of God’s law.  We hold the true wisdom, the word of God.  So while human wisdom can be gained anywhere, we are the ones who hold God’s wisdom, how Yahweh founded the nation.

Samuel: So do Hophni and Phinehas have the law memorized?

Eli: By no means.  I am still studying it daily.

Samuel: Then why don’t they ever look at it?

Eli: (Sighs) I don’t know, son.  I wish they did.  Perhaps then their judgments would be just instead of… idiotic.

Samuel: Is that why you have me read it every day?

Eli: Yes.  I have failed in so many ways with my other sons.  I thought that they would naturally follow in my ways.  Perhaps I forgot how much discipline was given to me from my father.  But Yahweh has given me one more chance in my old age with you, son of Elkanah and Hannah. 

Samuel: (Gasping) What, you mean I’m adopted?

Eli: (Irritated) As you know well…

Samuel: (Chagrined) I was just joking…

Eli: When your mother put you under Yahweh’s charge, she gave you to me, charging me to keep you for Yahweh’s service.  Then she recited the oddest poem.  I have spent much time considering it.

Samuel: Really, what did it say?

Eli: I have set the text of it on your table.  I wrote it out for you just last night.  But I would like to speak to you about it.  It concerns the lords of our land and the poor.

Samuel: You mean the Ignorant Dirty Savages?  Who come just so they could bathe once a year?

Eli: Did you learn that from Hophni?

Samuel: I thought that’s what everyone called the poor?

Eli: Do you think that’s what the poor call themselves?

Samuel: Probably not.

Eli: Then not “everyone” calls them that.

Samuel: But the poor don’t really count.  I mean, they aren’t like real people.

Eli: Who are “real people”?

Samuel: You know, the people we are friends with.  Who come to dinner and talk about important things.  The poor are just lazy buffoons.

Eli: Ah, another way in which I’ve failed my sons.  Perhaps we should have more common folk to dinner sometimes… nevertheless.  Hear me, my son, the poor are just as real, if not more real than we are.  If nothing else, there are far more of them than there are of us.

Samuel: But they don’t plan the path of the tribes, do they?  They do not talk to Egyptians or Philistines or other important nations.

Eli: And what makes them important?

Samuel: For one, they have kings and we do not.

Eli: Never say that!  We have a king—Yahweh, the king of the universe.  Our king is one that cannot be seen, but He is more powerful than any human king anywhere!  Do not degrade our God like that!

Samuel: (Ashamed) I am sorry, lord.  Please forgive me.

Eli: (Waving his hand) Of course, of course.  I don’t mean to show you my temper, my son.  You are learning so much from my sons whom I have failed many times over.  This is why we have these talks, my son.  Now, the poor…

Samuel: The Ignorant Dirty Savages?

Eli: Yes, them.  You understand that your mother was one of them, right?

Samuel: (Furious)  Never!  My mother is a noblewoman, wife of the great Elkanah, master of Ramathiam-zohim!  No one in the region is greater than he! 

Eli: Just listen to me, for a moment.  She was not born the wife of Elkanah, was she?

Samuel: No, of course not.

Eli: And where did she come from?

Samuel: Well, I don’t know.  I suppose I thought that my father and she were cousins as was Pininnah, the other wife.

Eli: Not at all.  Rather, she came from the tribe of Manasseh, of a small, poor village.  Your father was passing through there and fell in love with a young peasant girl.  And his love for her grew every day.  But she was nothing, her father was nothing.  He was blessed to have sired a child, to be able to feed her, let alone to have her marry such a powerful man as your father.

Samuel: My father relates to the poor?  Phinehas says that he only talks to them because he has to in order to judge them.

Eli: Yes, your father does.  Perhaps not often, but often enough to know their plight and to have compassion on them.  Your father is a great man, as I’m sure you know.  But his greatness is not that of wealth and fame—although he has much of that.  Rather, your father is great because his heart can take in all people, servant and master, powerful and poor, weak and mighty.  Your mother, however, is greater than he…

Samuel: How can that be?

Eli: Because of her vision.  She is, in some way, the caretaker of the heart of God in a greater way than we are here in Shiloh, keepers of the tent of Yahweh.  We can read God’s law every day and not understand what she knows.

Samuel: What is this wisdom?  Please, for I know it is my heritage.  Please tell me.

Eli: That the poor are the power of the world.

Samuel: Wow.  I can’t believe… (He is silent for a moment).  Eli?

Eli: Yes, son.

Samuel: That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.  And that is my inheritance?  My mother’s background has addled her head…

Eli: Don’t say such things…

Samuel: But really!  How can the poor be the power, when it is the non-poor that make the decisions!  The poor are powerless, that is the truth of the world.  The poor are not blessed by God, as shown by their poverty, so they don’t deserve to be powerful.  The poor are ignorant, as shown by this belief of my mother’s…

Eli: (Sharply) Be silent!  Now!  (Calming his voice some, but still angry) You are failing to understand the wisdom of your mother.  Listen to me for a moment.  Yahweh is the great judge, and He is no respecter of persons.  He does not hold one person over another based on their social status or power or race.  And yet, in this world, the poor are separated from justice.  They do not get heard as others do, for the powerful pay attention to the powerful.  And, as shown by your own attitude, the poor are seen as ignorant, and so they are ignored.  And those who are heard do not get justice.  But the poor are  heard by one person—Yahweh, judge of the universe.  No one else may pay attention to them, but Yahweh will hear their cry and will give them justice.  Even in harsh ways, such as destroying oppressors.

Samuel: Then why are not the poor wealthy?  Why does not Yahweh grant them all things they desire?

Eli: Most poor do not cry out to Yahweh, as your mother did.  She was barren and abused by others because of her poverty.  Yes, your father loved her, but still she was poor in the sight of all else.  So she came to Yahweh—she came here, in fact, before this very tent, and prayed to Yahweh.  I could hear that she was an ignorant poor person and so I rebuked her for her drunkenness.

Samuel: And rightly so.  Poor people are often drunk.  Not my mother, of course.

Eli: And why shouldn’t they be drunk?  How else can they forget the sorrow of their oppression?21  In any case, I had wronged your mother.  And when she had explained her situation, I was ashamed and begged Yahweh to listen to her cry.  But my prayers were unnecessary.  For Yahweh heard her cry to Him and granted her a noble son—you, my boy. 

Samuel: And even though she gave me up to Yahweh, she has many more children now.

Eli: And so Yahweh raised her up from poverty to nobility.

Samuel: I see.  So Yahweh is the protector of the poor.

Eli: Yes, absolutely.  But more than that.  Yahweh knows the power of the poor.   You claim the poor are ignorant.  But, don’t you see, the poor know one thing the powerful do not know—they know what it means to be poor.  And this is a benefit in all things.  To know what it means to be poor is to know how most people live.  We powerful are, by definition, unjust because we do not know how most people live.  We do not understand oppression, so how can we battle it?  By being ignorant of oppression, we end up creating conditions in which oppression thrives!  But the poor, their knowledge is greater than ours.  And so in the end, Yahweh will cause us to fail…

Samuel: He will take our positions away from us?

Eli: Surely.  My sons, as you know, they are already targeted for death by Yahweh for their injustice, their oppression of the poor.  But you, my son, you have hope.

Samuel: But how can I?  How can I, raised as a mighty one, be the hope of the poor?

Eli: You are the son of the poor.  And knowing this, you can change how justice is done in the tribes.

Samuel:  But I have so much.  I am not poor.  I have not the knowledge.

Eli: I will make sure you do know the poor.  And from now on, when you listen to my sons judgments, pay attention to the cries of the poor.  Understand their perspective.  Because they will be our rulers.  They will rule the whole world.

Samuel: How can this be? 

Eli: One day, Yahweh will hear the cries of the poor and set us aside, and place them as rulers over us.  You will see that in your mother’s vision.  The powerful crushed and the lowly become the powerful.  And the poor will reign forever.

Samuel: So there is no hope for us?

Eli: There is hope if we would change and listen to the cries of the poor, as Yahweh does.  If we would give them justice, on their level, then it will happen.  Listen to me, my son, can you do this?  Yahweh has promised, you will be the great judge of Israel.  Can you do so justly?

Samuel: I… I don’t know.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Matrix Reality

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
 His spirit departs,
he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
            Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free.
            The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous;
 The LORD protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
The LORD will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
An Ancient Hebrew Song, otherwise known as Psalm 146

Psalm 146 has a clear place in the theology of the book of Psalms.  The final section of psalms is devoted to “pure praise” songs, the purpose of which is to encourage God’s people to give God good press.  The songs all around this one are constantly saying, “Everyone, talk about God!”  It’s kinda like being at an evangelism convention.  Or listening to a Maranatha worship album over and over again.

So we see #146 as being the same kind of song—God is a great god, tell everybody.  #145 and 146 do differ from those that follow them in that they provide quite a bit of content as to what everybody should actually be excited about (unlike Maranatha worship tapes, see left).  It’s as if someone had read some of the later psalms and said, “You guys are fanatics!  What’s so great about Israel’s god, anyway?”  These two psalms (plus some additional ones, like #103) attempt to answer that question.

In answering this question, #146 begins with a postmodern philosophical presupposition—“What you see is not what is Real.”  It is as if we were suddenly transported into the Matrix movies: “Everything that seems important around you—governments, military, economics—all the things that would make you seem secure—none of it is actually real.  It is only the semblance of reality.  The most powerful people you know of are frankly only the shadow of the true Reality.  Looking carefully at them, you can see their power and authority and wealth shake and finally disappear.  If you want true Power, you have to gain it from another source.”

Yes, #146 is saying, there may be people who look important and powerful—celebrities, rulers, Senators, religious leaders, CEOs and more.  But they can’t actually make you secure or powerful—they can’t even do it themselves.  After all, powerful people get assassinated, Senators and presidents don’t get re-elected or get impeached, CEOs get fired, and everyone dies—sometimes sooner than later. Even the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll died young—relatively speaking.  Human power, at best, is transitory, fleeting.

But, says #146, there is a real Power to access.  He’s called God.  He made heaven and earth.  Creator, that’s a pretty powerful position, isn't it?  And not only did he make heaven and earth—no mean feat, in and of itself—but he also made the Sea.  The Sea, (Yom, remember?) in Canaanite and Israelite cosmology, is powerful; a god in and of itself.  It is chaotic and destructive and threatening to mankind in general.  But God made even that powerful god.  Since there is no powerful human figure that could order the unorderable Sea, then God must be the real Reality, the source of all real power.  God is the Matrix of this world.

Not only is God’s power more powerful than the power of this world’s power, but even the character of God’s power is different.  This world’s power is characterized by the maintenance of position.  Powerful ones must spend all their time maintaining their power.  The wealthy must work at maintaining their wealth.  The authoritative must work at maintaining their authority.  Celebrities must work at maintaining their fame.  This is one of the greatest indications to show that human power is fleeting—because one has to work so hard to maintain it.

This maintenance requires the powerful to work with the powerful.  Only power can grant power, wealth is the only tool to become wealthy and fame is what one must manipulate to maintain fame.  Thus, the powerful do not have time to work with or for the unimportant, the unwealthy, the unfamous.  If they did, then they would lose their human power, and they would have nothing.

God’s power, however, is not fleeting, and so it is unnecessary for him to work at maintaining his power.20  God’s power is the source of all power, so why should he hobnob with the so-called powerful?  He needs nothing to maintain his position or wealth.  This also frees him to do what is completely just and faithful.  He may keep his promises and contracts because it will not lessen his power to do so.  He can do what is right to all people because it does not frustrate his abilities if he does.

Most of all, #146 says, it means that he is a completely free agent to help the poor and needy.  Those who are oppressed—he is freely able to save.  The hungry, he feeds them all the time.  The debtors, he can set them free from prison.  The blind, he makes them see.  The immigrants, the transitory, the marginalized, the unseen-by-the-law, the needy, the ones without any hope—God can put his power at their disposal. 

And he does.  Since human power focuses on those who wield power, God uses his power to assist those not helped by human.  God is kinda like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: He assists the needy, not provide entertainment for those on top of the world.  God does not need to feed the full, so he focuses on feeding the hungry.  He doesn't need to raise up the important, so he focuses on the humble.  He doesn't need to help the seeing to see, so he helps the blind.  He doesn't need to help those represented by government, so he assists those unrepresented. 

And that’s why God is so great.  He is the source of all power, and he does what human power could never do.  Him helping the needy just proves how powerful he really is.