Today, Sunday March 19
“But I Am Poor and Needy”
“Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. Let them be confounded because of their shame, Who say to me, "Aha, aha!"
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!" But I am poor and needy; Yet the LORD thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.”
What a wonderful Psalm to reflect and meditate on as often as we can. I find that it relates to us in so many ways. In the first five verses of this Psalm David is looking back and remembering how the LORD brought him up out of a horrible pit and out of the miry clay and set his feet upon a rock and established his steps (v. 2). As he reflects on God’s wonderful works (v. 5), he realizes that he can’t begin to count them and is encouraged to always put his trust in the LORD (vv. 3-4), and he has a new song to sing every day (v. 3)!
In the middle verses (vv. 6-10), David looks up in worship with the “great assembly” and is reminded that God wants our hearts and devotion more than He wants our sacrifices, no matter how great or many they might be. David is actually prophesying of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who will come in humility and obedience and Who delights to do the will of the Father (John 5:30; 6:38-40; 8:29; 12:49). David desired to proclaim God’s good news of righteousness without any restraints to anyone and everyone who would listen (vv. 9-10)!
Now in these last verses (vv. 11-17), David is looking within his own heart and realizes that he has a heart that is still filled with iniquities, sins, and failure. He is so overwhelmed with his shame and guilt that his heart fails him (v. 12). This should remind us no matter how close we might get to the Lord in our love and devotion, that we still have a long way to go! We never arrive spiritually! Paul makes this very clear in his epistles and in his own testimony. As you read the latter epistles of Paul, he seems to proclaim that he is the greatest of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
Paul stated this best in Philippians 3:12-15, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
You will find that the closer you get to the LORD and His light, that the more sin you will see in your heart and life that you will need to confess and ask forgiveness for! We find this lesson in 1 John 1:7-10 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
Yes, David’s life was filled with tremendous difficulties and trouble. Even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he still had to deal with the hardships of life in a very deep and personal way. As he closes this chapter, he cries out that “he is poor and needy” and is in desperate need of the LORD’s attention and of His help and deliverance (v. 17).
Can you relate to this? I sure can, and I’m sure you can too! But what a great Psalm to encourage us to keep looking up to the LORD for our daily strength and sustenance!