Delivering the Needy
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
~ Psalm 72:12-13
The Bible promised to deliver the needy; in fact, it is those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who suffer, that Christ calls “blessed” in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). But who are the “needy”?
In a very important sense, the needy are not necessarily people who do not have enough money. Not having enough money is extremely unpleasant, especially when we think of the poor of Judea in the time of Christ, when poverty meant not having enough to eat, not having a place to live, perhaps not even having a cloak in which one could roll up on a cold night. But His teaching is also that we should seek not the things of this world, but the things of heaven.
If we look at it from this angle, a billionaire hedge fund manager might be needier than a beggar on the street. Jesus was a homeless person! He and the apostles usually managed to get by, from what we know, and had enough to eat. Somebody would usually give them a roof for the night, and they did have a bag of money with which they could buy essentials.
But those with the greatest need are those people who have not found Christ. They are mired in their sin, deny that anything is wrong, and condemn their souls to eternal torment. It is not just the fact of being needy but the realization of need that leads one to salvation. Jesus saves the lives of people who know they need Him.
This is a lot easier, it seems, for those who have less of what the world has to offer; they are accustomed to realizing that they have unfulfilled needs. Their vision of the poverty of their own life is clearer; they are not blinded by shiny Mercedes or giant egos, they are not deafened by millions of people telling them how important they are. This is how the poor in spirit are blessed.
Lord God, let me always see my need for Christ. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer