Sunday, 4 October 2020
Title: God will never forsake the righteous!
By Elder Yu Chin Shie
I was young and now I am old,
Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or
Their children begging bread.
The writer of Psalm 37 is King David. By the time he penned this psalm, he was an old man. David’s life was not a smooth one and was filled with much drama and excitement. The slaying of Goliath endeared the people to David. But soon, King Saul became jealous of him and wanted him killed. David had been on the run from Saul for 4 years and spent another 4 years at Ziklag, in Philistine territory until Saul died on Mt. Gilboa in battle.
After becoming king in Hebron and later the whole of Israel, he faced many challenges including the exposure of his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah by the prophet Nathan, his flight from his son, Absalom and the sin of taking a census which cost the lives of more than 70,000 Israelites. Though David was afflicted by God due to his sins, he was quick to repent and restore his relationship with God. He was called “the man after God’s own heart”. I am not surprised that in his last years, he could declare “yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread”.
Adam Clarke, a British Methodist theologian and biblical scholar who lived 250 years ago, commented on Psalm 37:25 as follows:
I have been young, and now am old – I believe this to be literally true in all cases. I am now grey headed myself; I have travelled in different countries and have had many opportunities of seeing and conversing with religious people in all situations in life; and I have not, to my knowledge, seen one instance to the contrary. I have seen no righteous man forsaken, nor any children of the righteous begging their bread. God puts this honour upon all that fear him; and thus careful is he of them.
What an encouragement!
Now I would like to share my own experience.
David died at the age of seventy. Though I am not at that age yet, I think Iikely I could qualify to agree with him based on my observation and experience.
As I looked back to my life, I could not recount any instance in which I have felt forsaken by the Lord. I could remember vividly the various milestones of my life in which He has provided for me, and at times in the right moment. There were times I have to wait, especially in the provision of a job while in Melbourne after graduation, my first job in Malaysia with Texas Instruments and even my last job which I stayed for 16 years till my recent retirement. I was never in doubt when I was out of job that the Lord would eventually provide even though waiting could be a testing of my endurance and patience (James 1:2-4). Prior to my last job, I took a VSS (voluntary separation scheme) where I was given 15 months’ wages. I had the blessing of a year of paid vacation before the Lord gifted me with a good job which I stayed till I retired.
I could also recount how the Lord has provided jobs for my three children in Australia, US and here. Each has their own amazing story to tell how God has been good to them and provided for them. They have not had the experience of “begging for bread”.
As I observe around me, I could see how the Lord has also provided and taken care of the righteous brothers and sisters in Christ and their children. If given the chance to testify, we will have a great feast of hearing God’s steadfast love and providence for His own.
We must remember that the promise of Psalm 37 belongs to those who trust in the Lord and do good (Psalm 37:3), take delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4), commit their ways to the Lord (Psalm 37:5) and who are still before Him and patiently wait (Psalm 37:7). At times we get outside these divine boundaries. As a result, God’s children needlessly suffer and are disciplined for their sins (Hebrews 12) and at times are in want. I think all of us can identify with this. The covenant blessing pertains to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, not unrighteousness. (Matthew 5:6)
Oh God our Heavenly Father, we praise You that Your steadfast love extends to the heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Thank You for Your precious promise that You will never forsake the righteous or have their children begging bread.
We can’t thank You enough for providing for us and always watching over us.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
我从前年幼，现在年老， 却未见过义人被弃， 也未见过他的後裔讨饭。