The Poor Prov. 14:20- 21CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this text, we find some instructions about helping the poor – the poor don’t have friends like the rich folks do and when a man despises a poor man because of his poverty he sins – whereas if he has mercy on the poor he is happy – there are lots of testimonies to this in the Bible – let’s see what we can learn from these testimonies that will help us.
There will always be poor people – no matter what you do to correct the problem, there will always be poor people (Matt 26:11) – throwing money at the problem will never solve it though it may ease your conscience – by this means, the programs that show you the poor on television make a good haul off of your sympathy.
Some of those who are poor don’t deserve help – 2 Thes 3:10-15 – and the Lord’s instructions are not to help this kind of poor person – he’s a leech – drugs have brought many a man to this place of ruin – too stoned or drunk to work and so they beg for more drugs and booze – “have no company with him.”
Some of those who are poor do deserve the help – Gal 2:9-10 but notice these poor are saints – 1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 9:1, 12 and notice that it was not intended that they freeload for the rest of their lives [2 Cor 8:14].
God expects us to help them – Lk 16:19-23; the rich man was to give it all to the poor; Zacchaeus gave ½ to the poor; Lk 10:30-37 the good Samaritan – or even Acts 3:3-6 – Often helping the poor provides an opening for the gospel – in Thailand a leper colony was built and many lepers have come to the Lord – help with orphan children has brought many to the Lord, also help in Mongolian hospitals, Romanian orphanages and Romanian farming communities, etc – this is help to the poor directly related to the spread of the gospel so that it is not dead end – in most cases the help is designed to take those who could not have cared for themselves and develop them so that they can take care of themselves in the future.
Incentive – there is a reward for helping them – happiness, 2 Cor 8:2 joy, 2 Cor 9:7 the love of God; Prov 19:17 recompense from the Lord [Lk 10:35]; Prov 21:13 the promise of answered prayer.