But I am Poor and Needy…

   Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” –But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:16, 17  NKJV.  

Poor, ‘ani, Strong’s #6041: Poor, afflicted, needy, lowly, humble, low in status. “Ani may refer to the person whose outward condition makes him poor, afflicted, or depressed. It may also refer to a person who inwardly is lowly, humble, and absolutely not self-exalting.

Remember, it is the great king of Israel who is saying I am poor. That is the true humility that is required when coming into the presence of God.


God maintains the cause of these afflicted (Ps.140:12).  In Isaiah 61:1, God commissions the Messiah to preach the good news specifically to the poor. To be of a lowly status is neither a crime nor an indication of lack of faith, as the testimony of the heroes of faith amply demonstrates (Heb. 11:36-40).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Feb 11, 2014 @ 18:30:48

    I love the Psalms, Manny. So many emotions are on display there. In many places David shares his heart with us and the humility that you have mentioned is very evident. This word study reminds me of a section of scripture that I recently read from James 2:

    The Sin of Partiality

    2 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

    8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

    I know in this scripture, James is speaking of a literally poor man but I think the verse is equally instructive.

    Maybe you could do a Greek word study on the “poor” in this passage.

    I always appreciate your word studies, Manny.

    God’s blessings…


  2. Mannyr
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 16:22:24

    Chris, I will do my best to do a study on James 2:2-8. Poor, is quite the topic, Some have and do error on the significance of this word in the OT as well the NT (cults, as well as some flavor of the day ministries). 😦


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