I have been young, and now am old;
yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.
I have compared this verse to Luke 16:20 where Lazarus laid at the rich man's gate full of sores. I have wondered what Lazarus did to be, not only sick, but also a beggar, especially since I read Ps. 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor begging bread." I erroneously reached the conclusion that if people served God faithfully, they would never have to beg, or go through severe trials and hardships. I had a little trouble reconciling this belief with what happened to Lazarus and what happened to the faithful believers during the dark ages and reformation who had to suffer for what they believed, some even giving their lives. I have finally discovered I had read Ps. 37:25 wrong, therefore I didn't understand what David was saying. The verse does not say the righteous won't starve to death, or suffer many hardships because of their righteousness: it is saying their children won't beg bread.
1. David wrote this Psalms in his later life because he says so. There are some things we won't understand because we don't have the benefit of experience. The only way to get experience is to remain faithful to God in those things you know, trusting Him to make unknown things clear.
2. There are two things David had never seen: (1) the righteous forsaken, and (2) his seed begging bread.
The Righteous Forsaken
God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. We can rest on His promises. David said in all his lifetime, he had never seen any of God's faithful children forsaken by Him. David has probably seen God's children forsake Him, but he has never seen God forsake any of his children.
His Seed Begging Bread
The poverty of the righteous will not be passed on to their children.
If a man is righteous in serving God, if he gives himself so much to God that he doesn't have time to lay up a rich material inheritance for his children, God will lay up that inheritance for him. I am not saying that God will make our children rich if we serve Him, I am saying that God will see to it that our poverty isn't passed to our children. There is a lot of difference between having enough and begging bread. Our children won't have to beg bread, if we put God first.
This principle is very readily seen in the world. Poor parents frequently have poor children. Rich parents frequently have rich children. The saying, "The poor get poorer and the rich get richer" applies to the worldly situation of this life. Poor parents teach their children how to be poor, not because they want them to be poor, but because that is all they know how to teach them. Poor people are not necessarily dumb, stupid, or lazy. In this affluent United States, poor parents often don't know how to manage money, or how to apply themselves to their jobs so they can be advanced to a higher, better paying position. Rich parents teach their children how to be rich because they understand the principles behind making and keeping money.
God is very able to change this cycle. When parents are Godly, they have a good reputation in the community, their advice is readily sought and heeded. They are looked up to in the community, and people will make a place for their children. Merchants will assume their children have been taught basic principles such as honesty, hard work, diligence, etc.
Another very important point for parents is that we don't have to fear for our children's welfare. We can safely leave them in the hands of God, knowing He will provide for them. We can go about our lives, putting God first, understanding that God will put our children first when it comes to the necessities of their lives. This is faith in action.
Another very important point right here is that Israel was afraid to go into the promised land, using the welfare of their children as an excuse not to enter into the promises of God. The generation that used their children as an excuse not to enter into the promised land died during the 40 years wilderness wanderings, and the next generation (their children) entered into that land, saw the great glories of God's undeniable victories, and possessed the land.
Will this work for us? Will we try to back away from fulfilling the complete work God has given us to do, saying that our children will suffer if we take a more complete stand for God? God is able to withhold blessings from our generation and give those same blessings to the next generation. At the same time this principle is true, God is able to give us the blessings He promised us, plus give our children (the next generation) more blessings than we could ever dream of.
Just exactly what are we leaving the next generation?