Reading: Psalm 70
For the director of music. Of David. A petition.
Hasten, O God, to save me;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
LORD, do not delay (NIV).
When I consider my situation—my station in life—I would not call myself poor, but neither would I say I am rich. I live in a comfortable suburban home. It’s no mansion, but we are mortgage free. I have income that covers our expenses with a little left over at the end of the month. We can afford one major trip each year, as long as we do a little penny pinching along the way. Our eight-year-old car will need to be replaced at some point, but for now it’s doing just fine. I have no worries about retirement.
Many in this world would see me as rich. On the other hand, I’m a pauper in the eyes of the super wealthy. I’m in the comfortable middle.
David did not see himself that way. Hear his confession—his desperate prayer: But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay.
We don’t know at what point in his life David penned this humble petition. We know that the Shepherd-King of Israel was a man of humble origin, but he also ruled as King of Judah for seven years and for all of Israel for another thirty-three years. From the midpoint of his life onward, he was a man of wealth and power, but his humility remained. Like authoritarian rulers throughout the ages, he could have had his personal history cleansed of such self-effacing pleas for mercy, but David chose a different path. He let the record stand. Perhaps he was looking for a better kingdom.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Some poverty and humility of spirit might be fitting for me as well. How about you?
Response: LORD God, I don’t want to live the life of the self-satisfied. You are my treasure and my very great reward. I am needy—in constant need of you. Come quickly to me, O God. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you poor in spirit? How do we remain that way even when we are blessed?