Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!
The Lord is great, but I am poor and needy.
Let’s recount the historical reason for David writing this psalm. Many believe this psalm was written after the revolution of Absalom, and that David was back on the throne of Israel, nearing the end of his life.
He had experienced the greatest of betrayal in his life, and had been brought to the very edge of defeat and death by his son and a trusted friend. The depth of despair David experienced also brought with it a humility and gratefulness that is expressed in the final verses of this great psalm.
Also, it is instructive to note that the last two verses have two subjects, that is those who seek God and the author himself. The author looks to those who seek God, and desires joy and gladness for them in their chasing after God. He desires the best for them as they seek God.
For himself, he admits to his poverty and need. Please remember that the author is King David, and is near the end of his rule, where he rules over the most prosperous and militarily mighty nation in the area. His expansion of his rule saw few limits and the Lord gave him victory many, many times. He was the king of Israel, and is considered the greatest king that ruled over the nation.
Yet he saw himself as poor and needy. The word poor may be translated as afflicted. To be afflicted is to be in need, subject to oppression or abuse, and admitting to the need for deliverance.
How is it that David could honestly say these things, while sitting on the throne of Israel, and reigning over God’s people?
David was in the enviable position of understanding where he stood in relation to the great God we serve. Although he is considered one of histories greatest kings, he considered himself as poor and needy, a man before God, stripped of his earthly strength, and bowing before Him. David was great because he did not consider himself.
If this was the only one we might consider in the final verses, it would be enough, but I ask you to consider the greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ, for as we have seen though this psalm, the subject turns to the Messiah, and we can see glimpses of His life throughout the passage.
Consider Jesus, in relation to the claim of being poor and needy, One who voluntarily left all power and glory to be brought to a point of poverty and need, to being one who needed deliverance from God, who experienced affliction, poverty, humiliation and ultimately death.
David was rescued from the pit, but Jesus entered the grave, having prayed for deliverance. This exercise of trust in the Father is unexplainable, if He was not continually and always in the presence of the Father, communing with the Father, being One with Him.
His trust in the Father during His experience of poverty and affliction is amazing, and His willingness to enter death, while not deserving the condemnation is beyond any sense of logic or understanding.
The psalmist, at the end of this psalm, prayed for God not to delay. The Lord also prayed for deliverance. God delivered David. All appearance of deliverance for Jesus, in the eyes of the disciples was snuffed out at the point of death. It seemed the Father had delayed, had not delivered the greater David.
We must understand that the deliverance that was expected and the deliverance that was supplied was dependent on our understanding of the goal. Any one of us, being in the sandals of the disciples, would have seen this as the disciples did, as a great failure, a massive disappointment. If only God had not delayed in delivering Jesus from death.
But love is like that.
He truly is the leader of our salvation, the One who loved first, best and always.
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
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