5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
I’ve had a couple of rough nights in a row, wrestling with being awakened by nightmares and being fearful. Terrified, even. It’s a disorienting experience, to wake up in the middle of the night and have to fight hard for solid ground.
When I read these verses this morning, after one of those short nights, I was struck by God’s words here. Because the poor are plundered , because the needy groan, these things (and I think several other similar things) cause the Lord to act.
But here’s an important phrase: “I will now arise”. The plundering of the poor and the groaning of those in need prompt God to arise, they prompt God to stand up. To picture this in your mind, it signals that God is about to do something tremendous. Something miraculous, something very important.
In this case, the Lord (after he stands up) states that He will …”place him in the safety for which he longs”. I can’t hardly read that phrase without getting stirred up some. If we tear it apart, we see two important pieces to this phrase.
1. God says that HE will place him in safety. He will do it. It does not say that He will send someone to lead them to safety. It doesn’t say that He will give them instructions on how to reach safety. No, God is much more personal than that. He Himself will place him in safety. To place something, one must first pick it up. If I’m going to place a book on my bed, than I have to pick up that book in order to be able to PLACE it on the bed. What a beautiful concept then, is this verse when the Lord says He will place him in safety–he will pick them up and place them in a safe place.
2. “for which he longs”. God knows, God knows that these people He is addressing are longing for safety. God knows and sees and acts. To long for something is such a deep desire. God recognizes that longing in our souls for safety, and He places us there.
Tonight I long for safety. I long for sleep and peace tonight in my mind and my soul. I have known real fear and terror, and I have longed for safety, but now I long for safety that even reaches beyond physical safety, and provides safety for minds and souls.
Oh God, here we are once again peering over the shoulder as the psalmist writes out the words that are in his soul. And we echo them back to you—please God, see my needs, place me in safety, the safety I so desperately long for.