Blessed is he who considers the poor: YHVH will deliver him in time of trouble. Psa 41:1
Most commentaries associate the Scriptural time of trouble to the Great Tribulation, and the Day of YHVH, for example as this one does. Let’s let Scripture interpret Scripture and see what it has to say about the time of trouble.
The phrase occurs 22 times in the Hebrew Scripture, most often a translation of two Hebrew phrases:
DAY. Strong’s H3117 יום yowm: Work to bring order to chaos is done during the daylight hours.
EVIL. Strong’s H7451, rah, an absolute state plural intensive noun, meaning “wickedness,” but intensified, then multiplied or magnified. Its primitive root is Strong’s H7489 רעע ra’ah: A man who is dark and twisted does dark and twisted things.
TIME. Strong’s H6256, eth, an abstract concept meaning, “time or season;” from Strong’s H5703, ad, an abstract concept meaning, “in perpetuity.” Its primitive root is Strong’s H5710 עדה adah: Watching at the door of worship.
TROUBLE. Strong’s H6869, tsarah, an abstract concept meaning, “trouble, distress;” from Strong’s H6862, tsar, an adjective meaning, “narrow.” Its primitive root is Strong’s H6887 צרר tsarar: Lying in wait for a man in order to encroach upon him.
Download The Time of Trouble pdf, which includes all its occurrences in Scripture, and the Hebrew root words.
By studying all the instances of “the time of trouble” in Scripture, we learn that
- YHVH delivers His people in the time of trouble;
- He saves them out of their time of trouble;
- He is their hiding place, refuge, and strength in the time of trouble.
Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who oppressed them; and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; and according to Your abundant mercies You gave them deliverers who saved them from the hand of their enemies. Neh 9:27
But when His people have turned from Him, and do wickedly, when they turn to Him again from wickedness, and repent of it, He raises up deliverers for them to save them from their enemies.
David asks the rhetorical question:
Why do You stand afar off, O YHVH? Why do You hide in times of trouble? Psa 10:1
And answers it:
You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more. Psa 10:17b-18
In other words, trouble is temporary for all who trust in Him or look to Him, but permanent for the wicked who refuse to repent, to bring destruction on them out of which there is no rescue.