Read Psalm 41
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
David uses this psalm to demonstrate how considering the poor can transform one’s life from the illusion of self-sufficiency to that of total dependence on God. Consideration extends beyond just a thought to wise action and intervention. We often think of being poor as purely a monetary or physical condition. The term poor, or poverty, does not simply refer to people in lower economic standing. There is also emotional, relational, and spiritual poverty. None of us are immune to that. Deep awareness of our deficiencies, brokenness, and our own poverty should overwhelm us with our desperate need for a savior. Once we realize that, we are better equipped to care for the needs of those around us.
David continues in verses 5-9 to confess his fears and vulnerabilities to God. By listing rejection, ridicule, gossip, and betrayal, David effectively surrenders himself, his relationships, and situations to God as we are commanded to in Philippians 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:7. Upon realizing our own poverty and deficiency we should also confess our sins, fears, and situations to God and praise God for who He is!
Our culture glorifies individualism and self-determination. From a young age we are conditioned to believe the idea that our successes are the result of our hard work, failures are the result of our laziness, and that we can do everything on our own. But Scripture tells us that we should strive towards full dependence on God rather than ourselves. That realization points us toward our Savior and can transform our lives from self-supported poverty to God-provided blessing.
- What are your major weaknesses and your greatest areas of poverty?
- Where have you bought into the lies we’re told about individualism and self-determination?
- How can you practice relying on God, rather than yourself, for strength throughout your day?