Proverbs 14:21-35 – Bless the Poor

Read Proverbs 14:21-35

There are so many good messages in today’s reading. We should fear the Lord, be understanding, do good, be godly and with it comes great benefit. But what about the poor? Is anybody looking out for them? I am bombarded with requests from poor souls in developing countries to help them, send food, send money, help them escape poverty. I wish I could help every single one.

But in reality, I’d run out of money to support myself if I were to take on the task of helping everyone who asks me. What I can offer is prayer. I can pray for the mission organizations that we do support with funding. They know the best ways to help the most people. Just throwing dollars at those who beg will only be a short-term solution and not solve the bigger problem. My mission dollars will go a long way in the right hands. Yet my heart still cries out for those poor souls who are seeking my help.

Verse 31 says, “Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.” What does it mean to oppress? One definition I found said, “to govern people in an unfair and cruel way and prevent them from having opportunities and freedom.”That sounds like a horrible way to govern people. I totally agree that when we oppress the poor, we are insulting God. When we do anything with a negative consequence to another of God’s creation, we are being disrespectful to God.

It’s easy to sit back in our comfortable lives and forget there are those less fortunate. It’s hard to imagine those who are struggling to find food to feed their children and money to pay for clothing and shelter. Is indifference just as bad as those who are visibly torturing and mistreating the poor? I don’t have the answer. We need to wrestle with that one.

Living in Mexico we have seen poor. It’s something I didn’t experience in the same way living in the United States my whole life. Sure, there were the poor areas of town, homeless people under the bridge, and I knew people living on food stamps, seeking government assistance and so forth. But here it looks different. I have stood in long lines waiting for free medicine.

I’ve seen tattered clothes, missing teeth, skin and bones, poor. But there is still joy, love, and hope in their eyes. These people have not given up. They humbly accept the help and are gracious. They don’t expect more, they don’t act like victims. It’s like they know they are loved by the King of Kings and know he will provide for them. I don’t see worry on their faces. I see peace.

I know God has put us here in Mexico for a purpose. It is my continued prayer that God reveal his plan to me so I can be sure I am doing his will. I yearn to help these people. I know God is equipping me to do just that.

I suppose that is why this verse spoke to me today. I have a heart for the poor, for the lost, for those children of God who are struggling. I want to be part of the solution that lifts them out of this bondage to poverty. I want to honor God by my actions.

Take some time today to wrestle with your own calling. How is God using you?

Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for the abundance in my life. With all that you provide, I want to be a good steward and help those less fortunate. I offer prayer when approached for money. Hear my prayers for your sweet children. Use me and people like me to help in the ways you direct. Continue to bless the mission organizations we support. May their efforts honor you as well. I trust you in all areas of my life. May all that I say and do be honoring to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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