Consider the Poor: It’s Good for Your Health!

25 Jul

Blessed is he who considers the poor. (Psalm 41:1)

Matthew Henry’s commentary explains that the act of considering the poor involves cognizance of the wants and miseries of the poor and providing for their relief.  This implies being kind and considerate of the poor, sympathizing with them, having concern for them, and keeping up a good opinion of them and respect for them, notwithstanding their afflictions. [1]

The word, ‘consider’ or ‘to regard’ in Psalm 41:1 is the Hebrew word, sakal or sakhal. The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance describes this word as, “to have insight, wisdom, understanding; the potent capacity to understand and so to exercise skill in life; a state caused by proper training and teaching, enhanced by careful observation.”  The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament explains that sakal is a verb meaning ‘to act with insight, to ponder, to understand, to act prudently, to act with devotion.’ It is notable that a verb and these definitions call for action not just thought! This word is used elsewhere in scripture to denote wisdom in terms of insight and comprehension (Jeremiah 9:24 and Psalm 94:8) and in Joshua 1:8 is used to refer to those who meditate on God’s word day and night being careful to everything in it will be prosperous and successful.

It is clear that the believer is called to do more than just give a passing glance at those who are less fortunate. But there is more to Psalm 41. Verses 1 through 4 read:

How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The LORD will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;
In his illness, You restore him to health.

Clearly, there is benefit to the one who observes, understands, and wisely acts on behalf of those in need!

[1] Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete),

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in God's Word, Obedience, Priorities


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