But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks on me: you are my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
I am - what? The question is important. In order to judge rightly, we must have a right standard. We are not to measure ourselves by ourselves, or by the rules of society, but by the perfect Law of God (2 Corinthians 10:12; Romans 3:20). "I am poor and needy. What then? If comparing ourselves with all that is true and noble and good, with all that is highest and holiest, we are penetrated with a sense of Our own sins and unworthiness, what are we to do 9 Cast down, lying prone in the dust, there speaks within us the still small voice" of consolation," Yet the Lord thinketh upon me. Here is -
I. HOPE FOR THE WRETCHED. We may be poor," wanting in all that is good. We may be not only "poor," but "needy," with cravings and desires which earth cannot satisfy. Like the miserable outcast, we may be ready to say, "No man cared for my soul" (Psalm 142:4). Yet there is hope. God thinketh upon us. And we have the outcome of his thoughts. "It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). It is when we realize our state that we are open to help. It is when we turn to God that we find that he has already turned to us, and that his thoughts towards us are thoughts of mercy and of love (Isaiah 55:6-9).
II. COMFORT AMIDST THE DESOLATIONS OF LIFE. Many are "poor and needy" because bereft of what they held dear. In time of trouble what should we do? Some say," Trial is common." Others tell us," You have had your turn of joy: why complain now that you are visited with sorrow?" Others exhort us to patience; they say," Time is the great healer." Others again exhort us to submission, to bow to the inevitable. To such and such-like we can but answer, as Job did, "Miserable comforters are ye all" (Job 16:2). But when we remember God, then we are truly comforted. Sympathy is sweet, but more is necessary for us. The Lord not only" thinketh upon us," but he has provided for us "strong consolation" (Hebrews 6:18). The Bible contains the thoughts of God, and it is rich in instruction and comfort. Christ Jesus has come to make known to us the thoughts of God, speaking to us as a Brother, in dear words of human speech, and remembering what he has said, we are comforted (Isaiah 41:14-17; John 14:1; 2 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3-6).
III. INSPIRATION FOR THE LABOUR OF LIFE. It is a great thing to know what our true work is; but we may know this and shrink with a sense of our unfitness. So it was with Moses, but God thought of him (Exodus 4:10-14). So it has been in a humbler way with many. We feel, when face to face with duty, that we are ill equipped and weak. We are ready to halt. But if we keep our minds open, if we watch for opportunities, if we are ready to do the work that lies nearest to us, what our "hand findeth to do," God will not fail to help us. Whatever is good in us is of God, and showeth that God thinketh upon us. Our best thoughts are his thoughts. All the greatest things done by men have been, first of all, God's thoughts, put into their minds to quicken, to inspire, to move them on to noble ends. So it was with Carey, and Wilberforce, and Raikes, and hosts of others. It is helpful to a servant to know that his master thinks of him; to a soldier that his captain thinks of him; to a young man, far from home, that his mother thinks of him; and so, and in a far higher way, it is inspiring and comforting to every true worker in the cause of truth, to know that Christ thinketh of him, and that whatever he does is done under the great Taskmaster's eye, and will not fail of due recognition and reward. - W.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.