What God Says About the Poor.
1Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill,
Psalms 14:6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
Who is a poor person?
Someone who does not have food to eat or clothes to wear or a place to sleep. This is the poor. God says in 1Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” In other words, if you have food and clothes, be content.
We live in a very material world, where people value the life of a person according to how many things he has, and how big his bank account is. This is not what Jesus thinks is important. He said in Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Having a lot of “stuff” does not make you important in God’s eyes. I know many people, and have seen many people who have houses filled with things. Garages, rooms, back yards, filled with clothes, books, televisions, cars, all manner of things. They even have to rent storage rooms to store all their “stuff”. To someone who is poor, they can hardly imagine this kind of wealth. I think about the person living in a Favela in Brazil. They have the same desires to have peace, quiet, and a nice clean place to live. They want a safe place, where their children can play. They live in a Favela because many of them have to. They have no money to pay rent. They struggle to stay alive. Life is hard for a Favela dweller. They are not lazy. They get up very early to go to a job far away. They must catch 1 or 2 or more buses just to get to work, many of them traveling one way for 2 hours. They lack the opportunities many others have. They may be surrounded with trash and sewage and noise. They may hear gunfire in the night. What are they to do. Well, I believe I can help anyone from God’s instruction book, The Holy Bible. God only wrote one book. There are 1,817 prophecies in the bible that have been coming true for over 6,000 years, every dot and period. The Bible told thousands of years in advance, all the future world empires in a dream given to the ancient Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 2:31,32,33,34.) It all has been coming to pass, 2500 years later, exactly as God foretold. Who can write a book like that besides God?
Jesus fulfilled over 300 predictions and “types” in the bible. It was predicted He would be born of a virgin, 750 years BEFORE it happened. He was . (Isaiah 7:14- “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”) Immanuel means “God with us”. Jesus is the creator of all things. He has always existed as Almighty God, but amazingly, in His love, He took on the form of flesh, and became a man, to be tempted and suffer just like His creatures do, but with no sin. He was poor, also. When the Pharisees came to tempt Him and tried to get Him into trouble, the scriptures say, they went to their own homes, Jesus wet to a park on the Mount of Olives. Our savior might have slept on the ground many times, wrapped in a tunic. A cloth outer covering. (John 7:44 “And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
45 ¶ Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 53 And every man went unto his own house. 8:1 ¶ Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.”)
Most of the poor have too take the bus, they do not have a car. Jesus had to walk. When he needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy on what we call Palm Sunday, He had to borrow it. Luke 19:30 “Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.”
God looks out for the poor.
Exodus 23:6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
If you mistreat the poor, because he cannot defend himself, God is angry.
Rich people and corporations can hire lawyers to “win” their case in court. If they are unjust, God sees and judges this. His eye is on the poor the widow and the orphan. He is a Father to those who are helpless and weak.
Leviticus 19:15 “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.”
He provides food for the poor.
Leviticus 19:10 “And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
Farmers were told not to glean their vineyard , grapes or wheat, or corn, whatever, but to leave some of the harvest behind so the poor could later find it to eat. To glean means to go back over and make sure you missed nothing.
In ancient Israel, you could go through a field and eat whatever you could carry in your hands. Jesus disciples did this.
Luke 6:1 “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.”
Psalm 82:3 “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.”
So God does all He can to “Look out for the Poor” and for those who can not defend themselves.
We are to be kind and help the poor as we are able if we can.
Deuteronomy 15:7 “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:”
We should carefully pray and discern if the person asking for our help, really needs help, or is lazy and will not work. If the person has an obvious drug or alcohol problem, buy him some food.
If a person will not work, he is not to be fed.
There are people who make a lot of money by begging, and there are people who are ashamed to beg, but really need help.
2Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
I have had people ask me for money , who were holding a pack of cigarettes, dressed in nice clothes, and seemed to beg for money for a living. That kind of life I am not to support. I am not going to pay for their cigarettes. And, I have had many people who simply could not find work, and were hungry, who asked for my help. Discernment. What really is going on.
Sometimes I am able to carry a small snack with me in my backpack. People ask me for money, I offer them a snack. Sometimes they turn their noses down at this. I remember being in Curitiba, Brazil when a man payed for a meal and pointed to a homeless man, and said “It is for him.” That is what pleases God.
Giving to the poor is the same as lending to the Lord, He will repay you when you need it.
Psalm 41:1 “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.”
Proverbs 19:17 “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
God hears the poor when they groan because life is so hard for them.
Psalm 69:33 “For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.”
There is a horrible curse on those who do not help the poor and needy but mistreat them and show them no mercy.
Psalm 109:1 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
6 ¶ Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.”
Why are some people poor?
Sometimes it is because they are lazy and will not work.
Jesus said to judge NOT according to appearance, but righteously.
I have seen people doing the best they can to recycle plastic and cans and cardboard, working very hard. They are not lazy. I knew a man that slept in his room and watched television all day. He was a drunk and smoked marijuana and drank wine. Being lazy and taking drugs keep you from working. The Bible says THAT man will be poor, clothed with rags.
Proverbs10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” Drowsiness, they are lazy and sleep all day. The Bible calls this person a sluggard.
Proverbs 6:9 “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”
The lazy person makes excuses why they will not work.
Proverbs 20:4 “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”
It is too hot! It is to cold. I am tired. I have a headache.
God has ordained that man work for a living and earn his living by hard work and sweat.
Genesis 3:19 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
It is not the job of the government to provide for you. It is great if there is a program to help, a social program, if a person needs help and is poor. But man is commanded to do his own work , and earn a living by hard work, not by government handout.
No short cuts to hard work.
Gambling and the lottery is against God’s plan of hard work. You will eventually lose your money.
God is against Poker, card playing, or any form of taking a chance with your money to try to get more money by not working. He will blow on it, and make it float away.
Proverbs13:11 “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”
God is against any form of gambling, it is vanity, or any way of earning an income that does not include hard work.
I know people who are good at playing cards for money, but eventually they lose it all and go in debt.
Work. Sometimes there is no work. Do the best you can to find any kind of work. Former President Reagan of America had a saying I like. He said “The best social program is a JOB.”!
Some people have many more opportunities for different kinds of work. Rejoice in the Lord and thank Him.
To be continued: