BY PASTOR T.O. BANSO
“He [the LORD] raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people” (Psalm 113:7-8 King James Version).
The Hebrew word for dunghill in the scripture above is ashpoth or ‘ashpowth, which means an ash heap, a refuse heap or a dung-hill. Metaphorically, a dunghill is the lowest place in life a person can occupy. It’s a place of abject poverty, a place of despise, a place of rejection, a place of insignificance.
Where do you find the princes? In the palace. Where do you find the poor, metaphorically? On the dunghill. But this Psalm, Psalm 113:7-8, speaks of relocation and a promotion for the poor from the dunghill of life where people, experience the worst things in life to the palace where people experience the best things of life.
Only the LORD can bring the hoi polloi, the commoners, to sit with the aristocrats. This is crossing from the lowest social class to the highest. It is only the LORD that can do that. Left to the princes they will not want the poor to come to sit with them, because they are not from the royal family. Princes always see themselves as a special breed of people; they could look down on others, especially the poor. But whether they like it or not, the LORD will promote the poor and make them to sit with the princes. And He does not need the opinion or agreement of the princes to do that!
God specializes in this kind of promotion, a change of position, a change of status and a change of fortune. The writer of Psalm 113 knew that. I pray that you’ll soon experience this miracle. God will lift you up to where nobody in your family, in your lineage, has ever gotten to in the name of Jesus. I don’t know how, but I know what the angel told Mary. The Spirit of the LORD, the power of God, will invade your life and this miracle shall be born in the name of Jesus (Luke 1:35).
Sing, O barren
Promotion does not come from the east, west or south; it comes from above. Promotion comes from God (Psalm 75:6). The LORD says in Isaiah 54:1: “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD” (King James Version).
The reason the barren, representing Israel, should shout for joy was because of the miracle the LORD would do for her after her return from captivity. “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited” (verses 2-3 King James Version).
That was what the LORD did for Hannah, who was barren and had a rival tormenting, ridiculing and mocking her. After the LORD had changed her story, she prayed thus, “Mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation” (1 Samuel 2:1b King James Version). In other words, she had an answer for her enemies; she could laugh at them. She said in verse 5 that the barren had born seven children and she that had many children had become feeble – was sad.
Hannah, in verses 7 and 8, also said something similar to what we’ve read in Psalm 113:7-8. She said, “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1Samuel 2:7-8a King James Version). There is a throne of glory waiting for you. God will enthrone you in glory and enlarge your mouth over your enemies. He’ll give you an answer that will silence them.
See what Psalm 113:9 says, “He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children” (New King James Version). The Jerusalem Bible states this verse more clearly. It says, “He enthrones the barren woman in her house by making her the happy mother of sons.” Great!
God enthrones the barren woman in her home. In biblical times, barren women were despised and sorrowful. No matter how much their husbands love them, as it was in the case of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5, 8), barren women didn’t feel established in their matrimonial homes. Even in some cultures today, some women who are yet to have children feel threatened by their in-laws, who privately, and sometimes openly, put pressure on their husbands to marry other women, who would give them children.
But when the LORD opens the womb of such women, He enlarges their mouths. They’re given a voice in the midst of the family members and among their friends. If you’re a woman in such a situation, receive your baby in Jesus’ name. You shall not be barren; you shall be a fruitful wife and joyful mother (Exodus 23:26). Everything delaying your conception is removed in Jesus’ name. The barriers or obstacles are removed in the name of Jesus. The LORD will give you a seat among nursing mothers. You’ll soon be attending antenatal and post-natal clinics in Jesus’ name.
I remember a woman whom God gave a miracle like this after five years of marriage and all efforts, including medical and spiritual, to get pregnant proved abortive. God took the glory via a prophetic declaration during a corporate prayer meeting. No one knew she was the one, because she was a new member. Before we knew it, she had been pregnant for some months. No special prayer. God did it that way so that the glory may be to Him alone and not the pastor! If you’re trusting God for the fruit of the womb, I pray that you’ll testify soon in Jesus’ name. God will silence every oppressor and everyone that threatens your marriage. For a waiting woman, that is what it means to sit with the princes of the people.
God lifts up people the disadvantaged
God has a penchant for coming for the person nobody gives a chance. He often comes for people who don’t even believe in themselves! He called David from where he was taking care of the sheep; his father never considered him one of his children to be invited as instructed by Samuel, until God did not anoint any of the seven children (1 Samuel 16:1-13).
The Bible says of God’s choice of David in Psalm 78:70-71, “He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance” (New King James Version).
When David later slept with the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba, and killed him, God reminded him how He chose him and anointed him as king and saved him from Saul, his master. He also reminded him how He gave him his master’s house and wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 12:7-8).
Saul, the first king of Israel, also had no qualification for kingship except that God chose him. Though the Bible says that he was taller than every Israelite from his shoulders upward, of course, you know that kingship is not sports, such that his height could have given him an advantage (1 Samuel 10: 23). Later, he couldn’t confront Goliath, who was taller than him (1 Samuel 17).
Saul was surprised that God chose him. Hear what the Bible says: “And Saul answered and said, ‘Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?’” (1 Samuel 9:21 New King James Version). The day he was publicly chosen as king, he was found hiding among the baggage or equipment and brought out (1 Samuel 10:23).
When Saul lost favour with God after he had disobeyed His commandment to completely destroy the Amalekites, Samuel again reminded him of his beginning: “Though you were little in your own sight, weren’t you made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh anointed you king over Israel” (1Samuel 15:17 World English Bible). Saul was little, yet God chose him and made him big – made him king. But he had forgotten and needed to be reminded. He had become proud and disobedient.
God will surprise you with a promotion you know by human standards you are not qualified for. He will take you from littleness to greatness! And who is he that will disqualify a man that God, Himself, has qualified? It will happen for you in the name of Jesus. But let me warn you: never forget that you did not deserve it; God did it. That is how to sustain what God will give you – humility.
Let me talk to you about Gideon. Do you remember what Gideon said when the LORD came for him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites? God called somebody whose people were hiding from the Midianites, their enemies, a mighty man of valour! Gideon was wondering whether God was referring to him or another person! He went ahead to remind God of his own background in case God did not know or had forgotten! “So he said to Him, ‘O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’ And the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Judges 6:15-16 New King James Version).
Gideon did not feel like God was calling him. Oh, let me tell you: if God says you are blessed, you are blessed even when you cannot see any sign of blessing. If He says you are pregnant, you are pregnant; it does not matter what the pregnancy test says at that time. If He says you are healed, you are healed; the medical report is not superior to God’s report. You don’t have to feel like what God has said about you or to you.
Have faith in God
Abraham had to believe God that he was the father of many nations as God had said though for many years he had no child. That is what is called faith – taking God at His Word, believing the Word against the world, holding on to the Word of God in spite of contrary evidence and believing God in spite of no evidence.
Romans 4:16-17 says, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did’” (New King James Version).
Jesus told His disciples to have faith in God (Mark 11:22). Gideon and the Israelites were so conquered psychologically that despite what God said, Gideon was not convinced that he was the best man for the job! Probably he also thought no Israelite was qualified for the job. He put up a fleece, the first and the second stages. Even after that, Gideon was still afraid, despite the answer God gave him. God had to take him to the camp of the Midianites where a man was relating his dream to another and the interpretation given showed that the Midianites were already afraid of Gideon.
Do you know that the enemy you are afraid of is already afraid of you? Not by your power, but God is causing your fear to come upon them like He did for the Israelites. He is causing His fear to go before you (Deuteronomy 2:24-25; 11:25, Psalm 105:37-38; Exodus 23:27). Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). God is greater than the enemy you think is greater than you. Gideon had no attractive human credentials, but the LORD chose him, used him and gave him success.
God is the one that raises people up from the dunghill and sets them to sit with the princes of the people. Esther was an orphan and God made her a queen in a foreign country in place of Vashti. If Vashti had not disobeyed the king by refusing to come out to show her beauty, something else would have happened that would have caused Esther to become the queen.
God needed somebody like her to be ahead in the palace to frustrate Haman’s plot. By heaven’s time-table, it was the turn of Esther, the turn for Esther’s star to shine. Esther actually means star (Esther 2:15-17). God had known that one day Haman would plan a genocide, which only somebody like Esther would be able to foil.
Amos was a herdsman, just as Elisha was a farmer, and God made prophets out of them (Amos 1:1; 1Kings 19:19-20). Jesus called most of his disciples from their work places and their obedience gave them names in history; we know nothing of their colleagues whom Jesus did not call. Their acceptance of the call was a promotion, not a demotion. That is why the rich young ruler, who rejected the call, has no name in the Bible! He is anonymous! The Bible merely calls him a certain ruler (Luke 18:18-23).
Conclusion: To move from the dunghill to the palace, you need the following: divine favour, divine choice, divine direction and wisdom, divine presence, divine blessing, humility, diligence and service to others, obedience to God’s Word and faithfulness. All these things are needed for your promotion to the palace and your continued stay in there.
God will set you up in Jesus’ name. God set up Joseph for the throne of Egypt, but all along, it looked as if it was a slide for him, until God was through with him. The king sent and loosed him, and it became clear what the LORD had been programming him for, for 13 years. He was removed from the prison to the palace – from a negative extreme to a positive extreme. He was an ex-convict and he was not even a citizen of Egypt; yet, he became their Prime Minister! Nobody remembered that, because it was a promotion orchestrated by heaven (Psalm 105:15-22). When it is your turn, nobody will raise what ordinarily would disqualify you! And your turn will come, not long from now, in Jesus’ name.
If you’re not born again, you need to make yourself ready for eternity. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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