Last week at @dfwgathering we were discussing what it meant to be poor in spirit. I won't go into the whole deal, you can go to dfwgatheirng.com to get the podcast. At one point we were talking about Jeremiah 2:13.
There are two types of people. To fit it into the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, there are two roads. One is wide, there are a lot of people on it, and it leads to destruction. There is, however, the road that leads to life. Few find it. If Jeremiah and the Sermon on the Mount were merged together, those that are on the wide road, with many companions, are like this song. They are clawing around in the dirt, with the grime of sin and sweat of transgression all over them. There are many. One's digging often gets in the way of someone else's. Jeremiah says that these people have forsaken God, the fountain of living waters, and have gone digging around in the dirt for water in cisterns that will never be able to hold any. They are broken, unable to bring satisfaction.
As I thought about how to illustrate this, I remembered a Smashing Pumpkins Video from back in the day. "Despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in the cage" was a line from Bullet with Butterfly Wings. Sadly, the song paints this picture of Jeremiah 2:13 perfectly. Lead singer, Billy Corgan, even references Jesus, but concludes: "I still believe that I cannot be saved." Sad.
Poor in spirit, on the other hand, is one that is still in the pit. They still have the grime and sweat. Instead of clawing and digging, they put the shovel down. They fall to their knees, recognizing that there is nothing--no will power, no scheming, no thing--that will be able to rescue them from the cage of their own making. In desperation, with their head bowed low, they extend a hand upward in hopes that this last ditch effort will bring them salvation. It is this one whom Jesus is speaks of saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
The Lord then pulls a Psalm 40. Scripture says that He is near to the brokenhearted, though he is the high and lifted one. The one to whom God will look is this one that has a contrite heart and who trembles at His word.
When was the last time that you recognized your poverty in spirit?