Rescue for the Needy


Psalm 72:12-14 “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.”

Our King, Solomon says, delivers the needy– those who have no one to help. If that doesn’t lead us to give up on our self-made plans of salvation, we need to think about these words some more. Preacher Charles Spurgeon once commented, “The proverb says, ‘God helps those that help themselves,’ but it is yet more true that Jesus helps those who cannot help themselves, nor find help in others. All helpless ones are under the especial care of Zion’s compassionate King.”

Evangelist Watchman Nee illustrates this another way. He tells the story of standing on a dock with a friend who was a strong swimmer. They were watching a man swimming a long way from shore, when this man got into trouble. Pretty soon the man was going under, coming up gasping for air, and crying for help. “Aren’t you going to help him?” Nee asked his friend. “Not yet,” his friend replied. Only after the swimmer became unconscious and stopped struggling did Nee’s friend rescue him. When Nee asked him why he waited so long to rescue the man, his friend replied, “If I would have gone out to him immediately, he would have panicked and pulled me down with him. I had to wait until he stopped kicking. Then I could save him.”

We don’t pose any danger to our King. But only after we have stopped kicking, stopped trying to save ourselves, does Jesus step in and rescue his people. Spiritually, at least, we are only struggling against him when we are trying to do it ourselves. Our King isn’t looking for our help when it comes to delivering  us. He is looking to give us his.

Why does the King take notice of such helpless people and deliver them? “…for precious is their blood in his sight.” There are some things that you or I may consider precious because they are valuable all by themselves. A rare antique or a piece of fine jewelry have value no matter where you take them. The value is in the thing itself.

The dried corsage you saved from your high school prom, or the little clay imprint your child made of his hands in kindergarten, probably isn’t going to get you much at the pawn shop. They may be precious to us because of a value we invest in them. They are precious because of their associations and the memories they give, but their value is given to them by us.

How often doesn’t Scripture remind us that we are nothing but creatively arranged particles of dust. “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.” We have even given our God a daily dose of bad memories by our sins. But the King has given us value by giving us the spark of life. He has given us value by redeeming with his own life. He has loved us because he has chosen to love us, and he considers us precious in his sight.

Our need is just another opportunity to receive his love.

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