June 30, 2021
Scripture: 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; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. Psalm 41: 1-2 ESV
Observation: These verses from David’s psalm refer to those who not only reach out to the poor but to the weak (as this Hebrew word may be translated). It is a blessing that comes with a promise: that we will be delivered from trouble, protected from our enemies, and will be called blessed by others. But how do we reconcile this promise with Jesus’ warning to his disciples that they (we) will be hated and persecuted just as his enemies hated and persecuted him (John 15:18-21)? We find resolution in his Sermon on the Mount. Specifically, his Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) provide a measure of reality with a blessing: the poor and the persecuted will inherit the kingdom of heaven; the meek will inherit the earth; those who mourn will be comforted; the merciful will receive mercy; the peacemakers will be called sons of God. He then concludes his sermonette with the assurance that our reward will be great in heaven.
Takeaway: In short, the promises of Scripture are forward-looking. We are not spared trials and suffering, but we can find rest for our weary souls in the hope of future blessings. Meanwhile, the Spirit of God delivers us from immediate danger, from the schemes of our enemies, by safeguarding our minds from the lies and fear tactics of the real enemy (Satan).
Prayer: Father, you are the God of Deliverance! In your mercy, help us in times of trial to recall your promised blessings with the assurance that your Spirit will guard our hearts and minds against the evil one and that our ultimate reward awaits in the next life. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling