Proverbs 14: King James Bible
Mercy on the Poor – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter fourteen, Verse 31
31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Mercy on the Poor
What is scripture talking about, when referring to oppressing the poor? Here’s a quick definition, so we can lay our eyes on the literal meaning of the word “oppress,” instead of adding to or taking away from it. Definition brought to you by Dictionary.com
verb (used with object)
1. to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power: a people oppressed by totalitarianism.
2. to lie heavily upon (the mind, a person, etc.): Care and sorrow oppressed them.
3. to weigh down, as sleep or weariness does.
4. Archaic. to put down; subdue or suppress.
5. Archaic. to press upon or against; crush.
Not all of us have had direct dealing with the poor, in a manner that would have been common in Solomon’s day, but that does not excuse us when it comes down to how we treat others. And were you to meet a middle class person, and then the poor, and treat one differently than the other, then you’re at fault in the eyes of the Lord.
But what about just a more general sense of how we treat people? Should someone inject us with sodium pentothal (truth serum), would we find ourselves confessing to have participated in the following, as it relates to treating others?
- Laying upon with unnecessary burdens
- Dodging your burdens, to be taken up by someone else
- Exercise harsh or cruel authority
- Pay no attention to the weariness of someone
- Feel like it’s your job to take people down a notch or two
- Take part in crushing someone’s heart or spirit
We’ve all been guilty of any one of these things, maybe before salvation, maybe after. But there is an area where the Father takes personal offense, and that is concerning the poor, or those who are unable to respond in any real way.
The Lord says quite clear in the verse above, that if you oppress the poor, you reproach his Maker. And I just want to point out, the word “Maker” in your Bibles, will be capitalized. So by taking part in oppressing the poor, we are reproaching the Lord God Almighty himself. That, is quite personal.
verb (used with object)
1. to find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.
2. to upbraid.
3. to be a cause of blame or discredit to.
4. blame or censure conveyed in disapproval:
a term of reproach.
5. an expression of upbraiding, censure, or reproof.
6. disgrace, discredit, or blame incurred:
to bring reproach on one’s family.
7. a cause or occasion of disgrace or discredit.
8. the Reproaches, Also called Improperia. Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church. a series of antiphons sung in church on Good Friday, consisting of words addressed by Christ to His people, reminding them of His mercies and of their ingratitude.
9. an object of scorn or contempt.
Do you want to be found upbraiding the Lord? You want to be called to task one day, why you decided it was alright to find fault with, or to blame and discredit the Creator of all the Universe? Will you see the Father, who sent his only begotten Son to die in your stead, as an object of scorn or contempt?
All of us should be saying no to all of these things, and yet, are we guilty of doing such things? Well, should you oppress the poor, you have. If you’ve looked down your nose at anyone, and have ignored the commandment, to “do unto others, as you’d have them do unto you,” then you certainly are guilty of what is stated above.
Think on it, pray on it, and stay aware of it.
Related New Testament Scripture
Luke 6: King James Bible
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
1 Corinthians 13: King James Bible
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
James 2: King James Bible
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Thank you for your Word, and for the conviction of your Holy Ghost. Please purge any pride or vanity from our hearts, and cause for us to become impartial between the rich and the poor, the have’s, and the have not’s. Help us to treat others as we’d want to be treated, and fill our hearts with charity, toward all who we may come across in whatever way, with mercy and understanding. Teach us the depths of your Love, and forgive us for any instance throughout our lives, where we may have slighted anyone, or looked down our nose at somebody. Cleanse us from these things, and cause for us to please you all the more. In the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever caught yourself found wanting when it’s come to mercy on the poor?