David presents an interesting character study. In many ways, he seems so much like he had his act together.
He was a man of great courage and stood up to the giant Goliath. He was a man of great influence. He gathered other men around him and led them to feats of glory. He was a man with great willpower, able to endure extreme hardship and difficulty as he was chased by King Saul.
Yet, when we read David’s inner thoughts in the Psalms, we also see that he was a man with many fears. He was a leader constantly worried and wondering about losing the upper hand over his enemies. He considered himself weak-willed. And he certainly could be. The story of his downfall sin with Bathsheba is one of the foremost cautionary tales in all of the Bible about a lack of willpower.
The more one gets to know David, the more we come to understand that whatever courage, influence or willpower he possessed did not originate with him. They originated with God, and by faith, were God’s gift to him.
David declares himself needy. Then he bursts out in thanksgiving and worship, because his life has taught him that God is extremely close to the needy — he stands immediately at their right hand.
The more I get to know myself (or perhaps, it’s the more honest and real I get with myself), the more I come to understand that whatever courage, influence or willpower I have all comes from God. It’s his gift to me. And that goes along with whatever peace, or whatever joy, or whatever contentment, or whatever love, or whatever… all that I have and all that I am comes from God.
Put simply, I am a person in need. Without God, I really have nothing. But he is always at my right hand to provide for me, to save my life from danger, and to give me the grace I need to overcome the condemnation I deserve.
That’s the way David saw it. And that’s the way I see it too. Without Jesus, I will never have my act together. But with Jesus, my act comes together very nicely.
You see, needy can be a good thing if, by needy, we really mean humility.
“With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them” (Psalm 109:30-31, NIV).
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You (“Lord, I Need You”, By Matt Maher).
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, September 22, is Isaiah 51:17 – 54:17, Ephesians 1:1-23 and Psalm 109:21-31.
Header image based on "Bruce Nauman: Human/Need/Desire" by Ed Schipul, CC By-SA 2.0