Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
When was the last time you heard someone say, “man, she sure is needy.” or “yeah that guy, he sure has a lot of needs.” What images came to your mind? Typically, the images we get when we hear expressions like this is ‘wow, I’m glad I’m not her’ or ‘I’m glad I’m not as needy as him.’ And lets be honest for a minute here, we all know someone that we would classify as being too “needy.” And isn’t it also true that society has helped lend to this belief that neediness is a terrible thing? Or at the very least an undesirable trait.
This is especially true in the United States and even more especially true in the state which I dwell known as Wyoming. This is the state where people go to be alone. Where people go to thrive on their own way; to make it all by themselves. Thats why our state has only half a million people and guess what, the people of Wyoming are happy about that! Wyoming attracts the “less needy.” Its a breeding ground for people who want to make it on their own. People who don’t need a thing from anyone else.
But have you ever stopped and wondered whether or not thats right? Lets take a moment and really listen to what David is trying to communicate to us through this verse. You see David, King David, wrote this verse. David, the man after God’s own heart, the slayer of Goliath, the King over Israel, the king over God’s chosen and holy people the man who had arms fit for battle - he wrote this. But when I read this verse I can’t imagine someone so powerful, a man so accomplished, a man of war and might declaring that he is “poor” and “needy.” Those two words are so opposite the man we see when we read about David in the Bible. But these are his words. David didn’t have any financial issues. He wasn’t poor. In fact he had loads of money! And you better believe he didn’t go hungry. Any intellectual person would reason to believe that David isn’t talking about money or material goods; he’s talking about himself, he’s talking about his spirit.
What David is doing, I believe, was the secret to his success; the secret to his strength. For all that David was, for all his accomplishments, his victories, his wealth, his triumphs - David was humble. David would confess his dependance on God. David wasn’t afraid to be needy. David’s greatest strength wasn’t in his massive sword or his physical fitness. David’s greatest strength was his neediness of God. David knew that he needed God. He knew that he didn’t have the strength on his own to live a life that would inherit him the nickname “a man after God’s own heart.” He knew he couldn’t do it and so he cried out to God.
And this is true for us. God says in 1 Peter 5b-6: Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” The truth is we need God. We are unable to live lives of victory and strength without God. And what I love so much about God is that when we ask him to hear us, and when we confess that we can’t do it on our own, it is then that he hears us. The greatest strength we can have, the greatest strength anyone can have is to be needy with God. It's to rely on him for every need. Every need.
What we need more than ever in this country right now is a generation that knows they need God. We need people, men and women, who are willing to humble themselves and live in the strength that comes only from God. We need more warriors. We need more Davids. We need more victories. Yes David had flaws. Yes David had trials. And so do you. But we can make a choice to struggle on our own and lose far more than we win, or we can give the battle over to one who can’t lose, to the only one who will always take the victory.
When we rely on God, God gives us grace. And when God gives us grace thats when we see his mighty hand at work. Thats when we can become people like David, people after God’s own heart. Thats when we can win. Thats when we become warriors. So lets humble ourselves. Lets be needy to God. Be strong in need.
- Arleigh Nelson // Husband, father and worship leader at Harvest Church.