Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me. O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. (NASB)
David recognizes the insignificance of man in the presence of God. In the preceding verses of this psalm the Lord is praised by David for His help in battle and His great deliverance from the enemies that pursue him. The Lord in His lovingkindness (verse 2) becomes all David needs for security and victory. It is not because of who we are that deliverance comes it is because of who He is that we are victorious. God’s nature is lovingkindness and we should praise the Lord God for that as David did in Psalm 63,
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. (Psalm 63:3-5, NASB)
That leads into the passage above. Man is nothing and yet the Lord loves him so much that deliverance, protection, and help in trouble is guaranteed. Why? From this passage it becomes obvious that being poor in spirit allows God to respond to our needs because we see Him as He is and we become part of His kingdom and are under His protection.
David, the great Psalmist, has pondered upon the security he finds in God as described in verses one and two. There is always a battle coming ahead; not only for a king but for man in everyday life. David recognizes the fact the Lord has shown Himself to be faithful and personal to him that he questions “why” in this passage before us. David appears to be overwhelmed. That the Lord God would manifest Himself as his rock, his fortress, his high tower, his deliverer, and his shield to David is again overwhelming. Why God, why? Man is nothing and his life is short,
What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. (James 4:14, Amplified)
David allows these questions to stand without answering them in this passage because they don’t need to be answered. But it is important to have them before us now and ponder “why” as the Psalmist did. We are to recognize that because we are poor in spirit that God does love us, not because of who we are, but because of His lovingkindness. The Lord does equip us for battles, especially our spiritual battles today. The poor in spirit must remain poor in spirit and must not take this position before God for granted. The poor in spirit must remain in a sense of wonder and worship before the Lord. God is eternal; we are temporal and our life is short. Why me? The only answer possible is grace, and it is sufficient for the man or woman who is poor in spirit. We have no strength of our own to rely upon, and when we recognize that we can fully rely upon the Lord God. This is where the Apostle Paul was at when he makes this same point in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (HCSB)
God’s grace is sufficient for the person who is poor in spirit. Read and meditate upon the following verses that discuss the grace of God: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 84:11; Proverbs 3:34; John 1:14-18; Romans 3:21-26; 5:15-21; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 1:3-12; 2:4-10; 4:7; 1 Timothy 1:14; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 4:16; and 12:28.