Psalm 41:1 Happy are those who consider the poor;
the LORD delivers them in the day of trouble.
David finds himself in a time and place of trouble. He has been sick, struggling with emotional and physical health, and in need of support from God and those around him. David has been generous to those who have been in need and he is affirming that the Lord does indeed help those who have helped others.
In many ways this Psalm sounds like a prelude to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where we are reminded to show mercy because our God is merciful. The entire construct of considering or caring for the poor revolves around the nature of God. Our God is a holy God, and just as God is holy, so we are to be holy. The nature of God is merciful, and we are to show mercy as he is merciful. We are to consider the poor, for God considers the poor.
Jesus, by entering into humanity, became poor for us so that we might obtain his mercy. This generosity is reflected in all that Christ has done for us, and when we minister to those in poverty, we are ministering to Christ. Jesus reminded his followers that when they fed the hungry and ministered to the needs of the poor they were actually ministering to him. It is in gratitude for what God has done for us that we freely give to others and consider the poor.
I believe there is more poverty surrounding us on a daily basis than most of us would want to believe. Many children arrive at school hungry every day. Schools are asking volunteers to help them fill backpacks with food for children to take home for the weekend to make sure they will be fed. Single parents struggle to care for their families. There are those who face blow after blow in life that makes it impossible to get on their feet.
“Happy are those who consider the poor.” These are the words that we receive from the Psalmist and it is a pronouncement for God’s followers. Many people who find themselves in poverty are there as a result of their circumstances. Unfortunately the pathways out of poverty or the opportunities to get out have not always been made clear. Too often we fail to realize that we may have had numerous doors opened for us that have made our current place in life possible. Those doors have not been opened for everyone so we are reminded — “consider the poor.”
God’s children have always been called to care for the poor. By ministering to the poor we are privileged to worship the Lord. David was faithful in caring for the poor and in the time of his need, the LORD delivered him. May we love and care for the poor out of our love and devotion to Christ.
Lord, thank you for the clear direction you provide for us. Amen.
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