"I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread." Psalm 37:25
In the past two verses (Psalm 37:23-24) we have come to see just how close our LORD walks with us, holds us up, leads us and loves us. Today's verse is a reminder of His great goodness and His provision over all of those He calls sons and daughters. Considering the times people around the Globe are going through, I can't help but look at this Scripture and consider the temptation of Jesus in the desert. I don't know about you, but it seems as though there is some serious testing going on in my life. Some of the testing is on whether or not I will continue to follow Him regardless of my circumstances. Other times it's about how much of my life (or the control of those lives around me) I'm willing to relinquish to His care even when I have no idea how we're going to make it through the day as a family, nation, etc....
Personally, I have had to deal a great bit with the faltering economy as I have made my living in Real Estate since 2003. The change in lifestyle that has come along with the economic downturn has been both challenging and stressful. Though trusting God through all of this was once intimidating, these days I have truly felt the comfort of God's peace and seen His provision even during the times that I had no idea where our food, shelter or money was going to come from. Instead of doubting His existence (which is usually the easiest option for me), during this "season" of my life I have had to choose whether or not I would stick around long enough to see if His Word could be trusted and He would provide for both the present and the future. In all honesty, many days over the past two years I have wanted to abandon Him for the comforts of financial freedom that I am certain I could obtain through the specific gifts He has given me, but I have decided instead to take the long term approach and invest in His Kingdom by learning to let go of my own life for His sake. Though sometimes, in my own finite point of view, it seems like He is holding me back, I forget what a blessing it is that the God of the Universe actually "holds me" regardless of what I'm going through.
As I study today's passage more in depth, trying to obtain a true understanding of what God is saying through David I came across the Hebrew word for "forsaken" and it really got my wheels spinning. "Forsaken", in the Hebrew language is translated as the word, "'azab" which in English actually means "to loosen". If I understand "loosening" correctly, you have to actually be bound to something in order for you to be loosened. Therefore, I'm realizing more and more, that God not only walks with His righteous ones, but is actually bound to them by His own Spirit. Regardless of what happens, when we are walking with Him, we can trust that He will carry us through it; because we are so closely bound to Him, for God to let us fall, would mean that He is losing a piece of Himself.
An even more important/inspiring segment of today's verse is found in the last few words in which David reminds us that He has never seen the righteous man's, "... descendants begging bread". Every time I hear the word "bread" in Scripture my mind goes right to Jesus in the desert when Satan is tempting him in Luke 4. Christ's response when He is hungry and is being tempted by Satan is to quote from Deuteronomy 8:3 in which Jesus says, "...man does not live on bread alone...". As I scan back into the Torah I feel an insatiable urge to help you understand what Jesus is actually saying and how it ties in with the truth of today's scripture. Deuteronomy 8:3 says,
"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."
You see, the descendants of the "righteous of today", like the descendants of the righteous man Abraham, have the ability to understand that all good things come from God. There is nothing that we need that He doesn't know about and many times in our lives, difficulties, as we mentioned yesterday are put there that we may persevere and become complete in our faith in God. Deuteronomy 8:3 is actually saying that we must trust God in every aspect of our life. Not our own abilities, not in what we think we need, not in what everyone tells us we need. We are to trust Him and wait in expectancy as we know He will provide what He knows we need (not what we want). To be blunt, if we are walking with Him, we can trust that He will provide for us, otherwise there is not point in walking with Him or trusting Him.
Furthermore, the reason that followers of Christ need not beg for bread, is because the bread of this life is not eternally satisfying. It's the word of the LORD that gives us the energy to push through difficult times and the peace and patience to withstand hardships. It's the word of the LORD and not "bread" that give us life and a purpose for living. It's the word of the LORD that reminds us of His great grace and mercy and gift of eternity through Christ. If we were so consumed with getting what we think we need (bread), we will miss out on what God knows we need. I urge you to trust in the fact that God knows far more than you do and you can take Him at His word that not only will He provide for you but He will lead you where you need to go.