This blog may not be for everyone. We are told to meditate on the Word of God and sometimes a little puzzle or a few questions about a passage helps us spend some time meditating. For some, it just brings confusion. I hope that does not happen here. Here is my question. We believe that God’s Word is inerrant (without error), infallible (does not fail), and is sufficient (all we need) for all life and practice. So when the Bible states something, we expect life to reflect just what it says. Now, we understand that Proverbs are inherently about general life principles (obeying them brings better odds) and that there are figures of speech in the Bible that are not meant to be taken literally (I am the door). Much of our Bible study is making sure we do understand what the Bible is truly saying what it is not trying to say.
With all that in mind, what do we make of Psalm 37:25? “I have been young, and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” We can relate to the first part pretty easily. I just turned 60 and even though it may be the new 40, I am still old. We are even OK with the first part of the last phrase, we know the righteous will not be forsaken. It is that last part that we might have a struggle with. Do the children of the righteous never have to beg? Are they always supplied a meal? Charles Haddon Spurgeon really struggled with this. He knew of many requests from the children of righteous men who did not have enough to eat. Spurgeon knew the Bible to be true but he also knew the names of those children who did have to beg. I suppose you could begin to question whether their parents were really righteous or not. Spurgeon solved this seeming dilemma by understanding verse 25 to be the personal testimony of David. David had lived a blessed life. He experienced a life in which those who followed the Lord always had enough food. This is the experience of millions of others. Not only is their life blessed but also those around them who know righteousness are blessed to have their needs met.
I have never known anyone who was part of our community that was struggling so much that our community did not recognize the struggle and jumped to help out. They did not have to beg for the next meal. They knew that their spiritual family would help in any way they could. I am not saying that believers do not struggle financially at times, but I have never known any righteous person’s children to be left without food. It happens somewhere, as Spurgeon testified, but my life has been so blessed that apart from media, I have never seen it. In fact, I can relate to Francis Chan who was moved by the Spirit to give food to someone who was in real need. He went and bought the food and then realized that he did not know anyone who was that desperate for food.
I know that is not everyone’s testimony. They live where there is no food. For those who may find themselves in tough situations where food is scarce, I believe that they can testify with Paul, “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” II Cor 6:10. I am, in no way, minimizing their suffering. I am, though, with Paul, declaring the goodness of God in sustaining our souls in every situation.
My reading of Psalm 37:25 has caused me to pause and meditate. There is much in that little phrase. Much to think about as to how God blesses the righteous. The strength he gives. The wisdom of how to live our life so that we receive his blessings. The strength he provides when he chooses us to glorify him through our suffering. The role I can play in the lives of those around the world who do struggle to find food. How much my life has been blessed to be part of a community that would not let me go without too many meals.
I have done little shopping lately. I just find it oppressive and such a hassle with the wearing of masks and aisles that only go one way. It is know it is simply an inconvenience but it is not enjoyable. What I have been noticing, when I do go the stores, is the lack of inventory. Things are not so readily available as they have been in the past. I am sure this is only a temporary set back. But it has made me think. How often do I take for granted what God has so abundantly supplied to us in this country? It is only his blessing that has allowed me to grow up with such abundance. I have often marveled at how many different kinds of rice we are able to purchase. Others, around the world, are struggling to have enough rice to make a meal and we have so many different choices of rice to make for our side dish. Again, I need to know how blessed I am today and I need to use that blessing to bless others. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.