I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. (Psalm 119:141, NKJV)
Psalm 119 is a psalm that addresses the need of the Word of God in the life of the Believer. This verse points out though we may be poor in spirit we can still remember the Word of God and not forget its importance. Though we are incapable of knowing everything, we can know what we need. We can still meditate upon His Word. Psalm 119 gets our focus off ourselves and upon the Word and its place in our lives.
I am small. Small in the Hebrew means what is little, or smallest in size or number. “In the manner of perspective man is insignificant” (Holman Christian Standard Bible) or small in comparison of the greatness of God. The key in this verse is that the Psalmist recognizes this fact. That makes him poor in spirit. When we see ourselves and see only a tiny insignificant person we can then focus on the greatness and wonderfulness of our Loving God who in His desire to give us all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) gave us the Word to draw what we need for day to day living. Saying you are small does not make it so; knowing you are small does – this is when it becomes significant to the Lord. To rest upon His Word is to trust in Him.
I am despised. To be despised in the Hebrew is to hold in contempt, to hold in disdain, or to disrespect. This is once again coming from the perspective of man, not of God. We in comparison to the Lord are contemptible and our flesh is held in disdain. In ourselves dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). The attitude of being poor in spirit is seeing ourselves as we are: an offense to the holiness and greatness of God. But the Lord in His great love for us gives us His Word by which we can transform our minds (Romans 12:1-2) and can walk in His will for us. Despised also carries with it the viewpoint of the world. If we are living a life that is pleasing to the Lord in view of man we become despised by the world. Man in the world does not want to see their imperfections and what keeps them from a relationship with the loving Father. Man will then have contempt in his heart for us, for we are close to the Lord and he is far away. Though we are despised of man we are honored by God.
Yet. Because the man is poor in spirit and sees himself as insignificant and is despised by the world he is a man that God will pursue and use for His glory. Yet is like saying, “Even though” or “despite the facts presented” the Lord will take care of us. He has given us His Word and though we are small in the eyes of the world we are empowered by the Word of God to conquer the world.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written: “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39, NASB)
Commit today to daily diligent study of God’s Word. The person poor in spirit leans upon the Word of God because he recognizes that is where his direction comes and the student is honored of the Lord.