God Cares for the Poor
Scripture reading for July 9th: Proverbs 18-21
“He who is kind to the poor, lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17) King Solomon was a very rich man as well as a wise one. The proverbs have lots to say about the poor and needy and God’s concern for them. God used a rich man, Solomon, to express to us His concern for those who had little. He used His own Son, owner of all creation, to come to earth and preach to the poor and needy! (Luke 4:18-19) He wants us today to be kind to the poor and to give them what they need to make them rich! This proverb of Solomon tells us that if we will be kind and give to the poor, we are really lending to the Lord that which really belongs to Him anyhow. God will reward us when we do that. God’s rewards are out of this world!
“Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend deserts him.” (Proverbs 19:4) “A poor man is shunned by all his relatives–how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.” (Proverbs 19:7)
Friends are hard to come by. Wealth draws people who want to be your friend. Often their motives are just for your money. The poor do not attract people and often have few friends. Even relatives of the poor avoid them because they do not want to meet the needs that will be evident when they get close enough to talk! The poor are often lonely and find help hard to come by. This causes despair and sometimes death.
God cares about the poor. Some people become poor through no fault of their own. They may be born into poverty or because of sickness or accident, their ability to work is restricted. Some may have jobs that produce little income or lack ability to hold or keep a job. God wants His people to reach out to them and be their friends. The lazy are also poor, and God rebukes them! “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.” (Proverbs 19:15) God wants us to do what we can to help ourselves. He promises to take care of those who trust in Him and He uses those who will be generous with their money and hearts.