Memo 1103: Poor and Needy
It's obvious that when David sat on his throne, he had power. In fact, he had power before he became king due to his skill with a sling, his musical abilities, and his charisma that caused men to follow him before he had a title. The challenge David faced, and that you will face as you sit on the throne of your purpose, is what to do with that power. Will you build your own little kingdom? Will you use your power for self-centered goals, meeting your own needs, making up for the time in your life when you had little or nothing? Or will you use it to empower and serve others?
David used his position and power to consider many matters, but one of those was the state of the poor and needy of which he considered himself one. Let's examine that in this week's Memo, shall we?
THE POOR AND NEEDY
From the earliest psalms, we see David mention the poor and God's concern for them:
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them." And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race (Psalm 12:5-8).
Then we read just two psalms later, "You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge" (Psalm 14:6). Later it becomes obvious that David was seeking the Lord about the poor because he considered himself one of them: "But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay" (Psalm 40:17).
Even though David had the promise that he would rule the kingdom, even though he regularly led his troops to victory, even though he could write poetry and songs that others sang, he saw himself as a poor man in need of God's help. In this series, we have seen times when David got a "big head" from his position, but for the most part, he tempered the effects of power with a healthy dose of humility as expressed by service to others, and those others included those who were poor and powerless.
THE POOR AND NEEDY REVISITED
Let's move on to Matthew's gospel, where Jesus' public ministry begins with what we know to be the Beatitudes, which when you stop and examine them, are quite similar to some of David's psalms:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:1-3).
Where did Jesus begin with His psalms? He started by mentioning the poor in spirit, promising that they would be the ones who would inherit the Kingdom of God. Since David inherited his kingdom, what he said in Psalm 40 must have been true: he was indeed poor and saw himself as such. God then took notice and could entrust David with the power and authority to be king, knowing they would not be his undoing.
This week's PowerPoint for Living can be summarized as
Your throne is a place of power and authority in your sphere of influence but you must keep your thinking clear that God has entrusted you with a significant responsibility to serve others who are as needy as you were and are. Don't be impressed with your own success.
Are you poor in spirit? Do you realize your deep need for God in the midst of your situation? If you haven't been promoted yet, do you understand your need for God to intervene in your lowly situation? Do you see His intervention as an expression of His grace? If you have been promoted, do you help others, remembering what it was like to be where they are? Have you found the balance between being dependent on God and also being the fruitful leader He requires?
The key in all this is to remember where you've come from and who are you before the Lord, then stepping into your purpose not as one who has earned it, but as one who is determined to make the most of it. Have a blessed week!