Kim was tenderhearted toward others. She was an example to us as she was compelled to act when someone was in need. She visited widows. She baked and delivered bread. She welcomed internationals into her home. She cried with the hurting. She considered the poor. My children reflected on the outpouring of love, “We knew she took care of us. We didn’t know she took care of everyone else.”
“Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land…” Psalm 41:1-2
We need to avoid equating consideration of the poor with temporal deliverance in our day of trouble. Does serving the poor protect and keep us alive and blessed? Today? Every time? No exceptions?
Does providing for the poor restore us to health when facing illness? Does meeting the needs of the impoverished uphold us on our sickbed? Does the introductory section of this psalm need to be taken literally in our temporal lives? Is our faith a name it and claim it faith?
At best, we need to keep eternal perspective. At worst, it’s just a mystery.
“As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!’” Psalm 41: 4
The humble recognizes their own poverty of spirit. They stand in need. They seek forgiveness, healing, and grace from a holy God. They know he is their defender. Jesus tells us that the poor in spirit are blessed (Matthew 5-7).
However, they know their malicious enemies on earth want them gone. Dead. Hoping to see them perish. They mumble meaningless words. Evil intentions in the enemy’s heart snowball. Expecting the worst but hoping for even worse than the worst.
The psalmist knows he’s alone. Even his friends seem to turn and hope for his demise. Trust is disappointed. Disloyalty assails.
“But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up…” Psalm 41:10
In eternity, our enemy will not conquer us. The days of a temporal enemy with his countless troubles are numbered. We are the delight of the Lord. He upholds us in light of our integrity, but even our integrity is from him. He sets us in his presence forever; he is with us. In the birth of Jesus, God came to be with us. He came to us. In his graciousness, we are invited to rest with him and in him.
“…every trouble that comes to us is really a trust, something committed to us to be accepted by us, used as a gift of God and then accounted for.” J. R. Miller, The Ministry of Comfort
We who are poor in spirit are to consider the poor.
And he is to be praised, because he is worthy. Blessing and honor are due his good name. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. He is from eternity past to eternity future. He had no beginning and he has no end. To that glorious declaration, the psalmist cries out “Amen and Amen.” To that declaration, I cry “Hallelujah, what a Savior.”
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” Psalm 41:13