Psalms 142:4 – I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
David, was hiding in a cave from King Saul who sought to kill him. Away from friends and frightened for his life, he pours out his heart to God. He says that he has tried to look for solace and comfort; he has tried to find deliverance among his peers and his acquaintances, but alas he concluded that NO MAN CARED FOR MY SOUL. The word care in the Hebrew means a looking out for , a searching out for. In the words of David, he says, in my despair and troubles, there was no one who seeks my deliverance and searches for me to help me.
In the care of souls, we find three areas David mentions that we would do well to prayerfully include in our compassion for the souls:
- To care, we need to be present: David says that he was looking at his right hand but alas there was no one there that he could depend on, there was not one who was there to see to his problem. In the busyness of our Singaporean life, are we too busy to care? There may be one who would come to Christ if we would take the time to stay. There was a man in sin: he was too ashamed to come back to the Lord’s house. He finds his sin oppressive and was unable to find relief. A friend met him, stayed with him through the wee hours of the night, provided him a place to stay and to sleep, and firmly encouraged him to go to the Lord’s house with him. He went, his life was changed and he is walking with the Lord, has a family now who loves the Lord and serves Him. There was more than a decade ago. The man in sin was “saved” from a life of sin because someone cared to be present.
- To care, we need to be concerned: David says there was no one that would know him. The word know means to ask about, to scrutinize, to acknowledge. Many relationships are superficial; sadly many Christian relationships are superficial too. To care for a brother or a sister, or a friend, we need to care enough to ask, to scrutinize and to acknowledge. A man sitting quietly in church, was asked by a concerned brother, how is he? That simple question implied care for the quiet man and caused him to consider Christ because someone bothered to know him. To care, we need to be concerned.
- To care, we need to help actively: David shared that refuge failed him. There was no place for David to hide that would be safe. We can help if we would care. If a man is sick, and cannot fulfill his duty, can we not as believers lend a helping hand to accomplish what he would? If a family is in distress, can we not as God’s people open our hearts and our hands to assist? If a sister or a brother be in guilt over sin, can we not pray over and facilitate the individual in coming back to the Lord? We may not be able to help with the problem, but we can be a refuge for a man in need. We can provide the refuge of listening, of encouragement. We can pray.
Do we care for souls, brethren? The Lord Jesus yearns for every soul to return to Him from sin. And as His church, we have the responsibility to care for souls. For souls that are lost, we need to reach; for souls that are hurting, we need to apply the biblical ointment, and for souls that are discouraged, we need to strengthen. Lord, help us at Ambassador to care for souls, because YOU cared for our souls.
Evangelist – Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church