Friday, September 4th Proverbs 22:22-23

Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the LORD pleads their cause and despoils of life those who despoil them. Proverbs 22:22-23

You cannot read the Old Testament, particularly the prophets, without coming away with an awareness that God is ever mindful of the needs of those who find themselves on the edges of the community. Widows, children, the poor, the stranger, the outcast. From the blessing given to Abraham (you will be blessed that you might be a blessing to all people), to Joshua’s speech upon entering the Promised Land, to Solomon’s prayer at the Temple, again and again the people are reminded of the need to care for those falling through the cracks.

There are very good reasons for this. Consider that initial blessing to Abraham.

God tells Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) that Abraham and his people will be greatly blessed in order that they become a blessing to all the nations, all the people, of the world. Now suppose that God keeps that promise and Abraham finds himself with vast and fertile land holdings, huge flocks of sheep and more material blessings than he could shake Moses’ rod at. Those blessings put him at a crossroads.

He can take credit for himself for all of it. Which isn’t true and therefore isn’t satisfying and thus leads only to the hunger to acquire more. Or he can remember that he is nothing but an instrument of God’s blessings and therefore he has been put in a position to bless others and thus becomes a blessing to the entire community. That is the crossroads.

We are all blessed with our own gifts, passions, abilities, abundance so that we can bring glory to God and good to God’s people by being good to and for God’s people. That is God’s economy. Like electricity, everything flows to us that it might flow through us back to its Source.

The trouble is, some people get left out on the front of the equation. Jesus said that we would always have poor people among us. Human nature is such, and life is such, that there will always be those on the fringes, on the margins, at the edges. Our calling is not to ignore their plight but to respond to it.

Far too often our response is benign neglect. Or even worse. We seldom notice when the poor are exploited and used. There are reasons why wealthy people risk driving into the “poor side of town” late at night and none of them are good. There are reasons why police officers are welcomed as they pass through the suburbs but feared even by the innocent when they patrol the ghetto. We ought not be surprised that it is people with good health insurance who want to protect what they have like the system just like it is while the voiceless poor suffer.

We don’t see it. The freeways rush us by. We don’t sit in the administrative offices of underfunded schools on the poor side of town. We don’t talk to the three families crowded into a two bedroom apartment to get by in life. We don’t realize how many homeless children make their way to school each day. We don’t know what it is like for a single mother unable to feed her children.

We don’t. But we could. And God tells us that we ought to.

Let us pray: Lord, you are the source of our lives. Your creation abundantly provides for the needs of your children. Yet there are vast discrepancies among us. Some are hungry while others struggle to lose weight. So many are just lost and ignored. Never let us rest content with our blessings. Fill us with a holy discontent, that we might strive to do your will, and bring your Kingdom, on earth now as you will in Heaven later. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


3 Responses to “Friday, September 4th Proverbs 22:22-23”

  1. marian severt Says:

    Where did you go? I have been searching daily and now have begun to worry that something untoward happened to you or your loved ones. My prayer is everything is fine and you are just on hiatus. I do miss the daily devotions and your unique insight into scripture.

  2. LC Says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. Hope everything is OK and you will be back soon.

  3. Lan Wayment Says:

    I found this site from searching on Yahoo and just wanted to say thank you for this informational post on losing weight using xoco slim. Thanks again!

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