You can hear the desperation in his voice:
I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
These words come near the end of Psalm 70, at the point in the psalm where you’re hoping for some resolution, a happy ending. Instead of that neat bow, the writer leaves us hanging with a confession of faith and fervent cry for God’s help.
Compared to most of the rest of the world, I am neither poor nor needy. However, there’s been a time or two when our checking account ran low following some unexpected expenses. Besides that, I often compare myself with others who appear to have more disposable income than me. So I’ve been tempted to also pray, “I am poor and needy.”
But had I been the psalm writer, my next words would have gone something like this: “…so refill my checking account.” Or “…so give me what I need.” Or “…so drop some cash from the sky.” The Spirit-inspired psalmist, however, goes in a very different direction: “Come quickly to me, O God.”
The psalmist does not ask for more money. Or more opportunities. Or more control. Or more things. Or more time. Instead, the psalmist asks for more of God.
More of God.
How often don’t I substitute stuff for God’s presence? How often don’t I chase after the gifts rather than the Giver? I want more of lots of things but often not more of God.
The psalm ends with these words to realign my priorities:
Lord, do not delay.
In Christ, God has answered the final petition of the psalm. At the end of the day, all the money in the world will not bring the happy ending anyone is looking for. This psalm recently reminded me that ultimately my “poverty” and emptiness are filled by God’s presence and love in Jesus right now, without delay. As Greg Dutcher puts it: “When we receive Christ as our treasure, we have found the very thing for which our souls have most longed.” Money, time, and more stuff may be nice, but this psalm tells me afresh that Jesus is my all in all.