Oppressing the Poor Prov. 22:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This proverb is about rich men oppressing poor men to increase their wealth. And make no mistake about it, this is a universal problem. Don’t think for a minute that a politician who always talks about helping the poor is interested in anything more that increasing his wealth and making sure that there are always poor people on whom he can make a living. If politicians could solve the problem of poverty, they wouldn’t. Otherwise, they would lose their political platform.
Ahab and Jezebel oppressed Naboth to increase their possessions – 1 Ki 21:1-16 – they offered to buy his vineyard against the instructions of Lev 25:23 and Num 36:7 – Naboth was not under any financial strain to sell it so they put him under a strain – they slandered him, witnessed against him and killed him. Of course, look what happened to Ahab and Jezebel [1 Ki 22:34, 37-38; 2 Ki 9:30-37].
The rich man oppressed Lazarus to maintain his wealth – Lk 16:19-31 – the rich man received good things in his lifetime and Lazarus evil things – the rich man could have comforted him but refused and look what happened after they died – the rich man wound up in hell – and look how he cried and was refused [Prov 21:13].
Job, on the other hand, would not oppress the poor – Job 31:16-28 – he took care of the poor and the fatherless – and look how he turned out in the end Job 42:12-17.
And consider the case of Jesus – 2 Cor 8:9 – he impoverished himself so that we who were poor could be made rich – he set the example that we as Christians should follow – there are poor souls all around us who need us to be much more concerned about their well-being with Christ than about our accumulation of wealth [Lk 12:15]
And remember that you can keep stepping on people to make yourself richer and you can do that until you are competing with the devil for all the wealth in the world – but you will only end up facing the same demise the devil will get [Mk 8:36-37].
Conclusion: the world is full of cases where rich men have increased their wealth at the expense of the poor – you’ll find this in every country – just look at the opulence and wealth of the rulers and consider that the poverty of the poor never improves. But there is coming a day of want both in the coming poverty of the country [Rev 6:14-17] and in the coming judgment in eternity [Matt 25:42-46].