The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me (Psalm 116:6, NKJV).
This psalm has been generally interpreted as Messianic in parts and in parts as a psalm of praise. Despite its dual use we will look at it as it applies to the Believer and not to the Messiah. The passage we are examining would apply both to the humble Messiah and the Believer who sees himself as being poor in spirit. In this part of the psalm the Believer is remembering what God has done for him in the past, thus it is his experience that the Lord has, and will continue to, preserve and save him, and that includes making him poor in spirit.
The LORD preserves. Praise God that He does preserve us. Though we are deserving of judgment, God in His mercy has saved us and restored our relationship to Him. There is a two-fold purpose of wills in this preservation. Yes, we desire mercy and a relationship with the Lord. That is easy to understand. Any person thinking properly would desire that connection to his Creator. But what of God’s desire? He is relentless in His pursuit of us; He desires more so than we do to be restored to the place of being in His presence. We were made in His image to be in relationship with Him. Does He desire to preserve us? Yes He does.
The Simple are those who God preserves. Simple here in the Hebrew means foolish, simpleminded. It refers to a person who is naïve concerning the complexities and challenges of life, inexperienced, lacking insight but made wise by God’s words and laws. The learned man who thinks that he has it all figured out has no need for God. The man who is self-confident has no need for God. The Lord cares for those in their own minds are most needful of His care. Those who the world would ignore and not hold in high esteem are those who God takes up in His arms of love and preserves. These are people who can live in the presence of the Most High. The simple are in need of the care of the Father because they see themselves as needy – they cry out to the only One who can save and deliver them. Though the Lord would desire all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) He often sought especially hard for those who were outcasts from the social elite; you see that strikingly in the Gospels. Those who are not trusting in themselves are those who can put their trust in the Lord. Those humble souls in need of a Savior – those are poor in spirit; they are who God preserves.
I was brought low describes the condition the Lord in His divine favor brought us to in order to save and preserve us. It is the blessed character needed to be poor in spirit. Brought low in the Hebrew means to hang low, languish, to become thin, not be equal. It denotes being or becoming small, of no importance. We are not to think of ourselves as important in ourselves. We are important only in that we are beloved and useable to the Lord God. He desires for us to come to the end of ourselves, so low, so in need that we can only reach out to Him. He desires us to be all of His; to protect, preserve, and to continuously keep us safe from the world.
He saved me. Only the man who is brought low knows that he is in need. God, in His infinite wisdom, desires to keep us needy. That is what poor in spirit accomplishes. When we see ourselves as we really are we take our hands off the wheel and let the Lord drive our lives. God constantly saves us from ourselves. Only by being away from ourselves can we come closer to the Lord. To be in the center of God’s will is to be as far away as possible from the will of the self.
Are you the simple person in need of the Savior to take control and guide your life? Do you want to become poor in spirit? Humbly come before God in prayer and ask Him to break you to the point of becoming simple, a person in need, incapable of doing it all on his own. Only through prayer and constant surrender can you truly become poor in spirit.