I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.’ Psalm 140.12
David knew this was true because as he looked back over his own life this had been his personal experience. It is interesting that the word translated ‘poor’ carries with it a wider meaning, more like those who are pushed down by their circumstances. The ESV translation phrases this verse: ‘I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and will execute justice for the needy.’
This was certainly David’s experience. Although he had been told he would be the future king, he was hounded by Saul who attempted to murder him, and at one point his own men were openly talking about stoning him to death. His son staged a coup against him and drove him out of the city. David’s life was hardly a bed of roses, and yet at the end of his life he could say these words: ‘I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.’
When you are going through difficulties or times when you feel pushed down by your circumstances, then it can be really hard to maintain your trust in God. It is often only when you look back that you can see God’s hand supporting and guiding you. If you are facing a hard time, take these words of David and repeat them to yourself: ‘I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted’. Emphasise the first two words – ‘I know’.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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