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. Psalm 142:4
This is one of the saddest verses in all of Scripture. There was a point in David’s life that he felt no man cared for him. He was left all alone in this world, left all alone to fend for himself. More striking than the fact that no one cared for him, was the fact that no one cared for his soul; no one cared for him spiritually, no one cared where he stood before God, where he was in his walk with the Lord. No man cared for his soul.
Our study today starts in John chapter five. It is the story of the impotent man. Again we come across the phrase, “no man”. In this case, there was no man to help this powerless man to find the healing he so desperately needed, but had given up all hope of receiving.
John 5:1-9 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Several things immediately come to our attention:
1) Healing was available.
2) The man knew he needed healing.
3) The Lord knew he desired healing, and was completely willing to provide it.
4) But the impotent man had almost given up hope, because there was no one to help him.
The story is very interesting and there is much to learn from here. The name Bethesda means House Of Mercy. The five porches picture God’s grace (the number five typifies grace throughout the Bible). While the porches covered many people, only those who entered the pool of Bethesda received healing from the Lord. After the angel stirred up the waters, whosoever entered therein was healed of whatsoever disease he had. While there was healing available for those who looked for it, it was only applied to those who had help to receive it. (I will come back to this thought later.)
Some other verses on the theme of no man are:
Isaiah 41:28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
Isaiah 50:2a, Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?...
Isaiah 59:16a And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor…
1 Samuel 2:25a If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?
Job 9:33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
Job 16:21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!
2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me.
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Psalm 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.
While this problem is a grievous one, the Lord has provided several solutions:
What did the Lord Jesus Christ Himself do about this problem?
The Old Testament paints a picture of the world in need of a Saviour, of Israel in need of a Kinsman-Redeemer. A Kinsman-Redeemer was a relative that was in a position to redeem their enslaved or poverty-stricken kinsman. This redeemer needed to be someone who was related, as well as someone who was physically able to pay the required price – another enslaved family member could not do so.
In a very real sense, spiritually, the world is in the same bind. Mankind has fallen into bondage to sin; they are poverty-stricken in God’s sight, and there is no man living who was born without sin, all are tainted by the sin nature. Something needed to be done. A Kinsman-Redeemer needed to be found. That Redeemer was Jesus Christ, God Himself, who became a man to die for our sins. He took on our human nature so he could legally redeem mankind. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He who knew no sin bore our sins on the cross of Calvary. He paid the price that our Heavenly Father demanded be paid to ransom humanity from sin.
Revelation chapter five reveals what took place in Heaven. The book mentioned in this passage is the title deed for the reclamation/redemption of the Earth.
Revelation 5:1-9 And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
While others may have been willing, this passage (and many others) teach that Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah) was the only sinless Man capable of redeeming fallen mankind from their enslavement to sin and death, from the kingdom of darkness. Through His death for our sins, His burial, and His physical resurrection, He did what no one else in the history of the world could do: He provided for our complete salvation, which is ours by personal faith in Him. This is the reason the whole Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) declares Him as the ONLY SAVIOUR! (If you disagree with that, take your complaint up with the Author!)
Isaiah 59:16-17 And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me.
Just like the impotent man in John 5, there are many today who are looking for answers, for healing, for forgiveness of sins, for refuge from the fire of God’s eternal wrath, but many don’t know where to look, or how to receive the help they need. No man is there to help them find the healing pool, to carry them to the fountain of living waters. Jesus is the source of eternal life; His blood is the fountain that cleanses all our sins, but who is there to help them?
What can we do about it?
The price for sin has been paid, and yet the despairing cry goes out, “There is no man to help me!”
The biggest way we can help the lost is by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” But someone must go and bring them the Gospel. Whether it is across the world, or across the street, we are commanded to go and tell others the Good News of salvation. You may not be called to be a missionary, but you are commanded to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 5:20)
Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The word for beautiful means “belonging to the right hour or season (timely).” There can never be a wrong time to preach the saving Gospel to those who are lost and on their way to Hell. The Good News is beautiful to the soul who comes to Jesus Christ! (See also Proverbs 15:23; 25:11)
We must first show our love for the lost souls around us by doing all we can to reach them for Christ. We must pray fervently for the lost. We must give to missions to send the Gospel out to other countries. And we must go where we can, and share the Gospel with those we personally come in contact with. All our praying for lost souls won’t amount to much if we don’t put feet to those prayers by witnessing to them about Jesus Christ! How can we expect the Lord to save our loved ones if we couldn’t be bothered to share the Gospel with them. Yes, the Lord can use anyone to reach the lost, but He wants to use you (and me)!
We can also show our love for saved souls by teaching and reminding them where refuge is to be found from all of life’s trials and afflictions – in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Psalm 142:4-5 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. I cried unto Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Isaiah 50:4-5 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
Isaiah 63:7-9 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, Surely they are My people, children that will not lie: so He was their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Like the impotent man in the Gospel of John, there are many today who need help to reach the healing waters of Shiloah. (See Isaiah 8:6) There are many lost souls who need help to understand the Word of God and find the Saviour revealed therein. (See Acts 8:30-31)
John 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. The idea here is for Christians to be concerned with the welfare of others around them, particularly spiritually. We need to consider the eternal welfare of those we encounter every day. When the impotent man was healed, he told others that it was Jesus who had healed him. We need to share the Good News of salvation with others that they too may be healed of their sins. The healing waters are available for whosoever will heed the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
The psalmist’s cry, “No man cared for my soul!”
Our response, let’s tell them Jesus cares!
Study written May 25th, 2002
By Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries
The Christian Counter