Proverbs 28: King James Bible
Oppressing the Poor – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty eight, Verse 3
3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – Oppressing the Poor
Wouldn’t you think that a poor man that comes across a position of authority would actually benefit the poor? Also, wouldn’t you think that rain would benefit crops and food production?
Above, the Lord gives us insight into the heart of the oppressor. The poor man is oppressing the poor in a manner that devastates the lives or livelihood of his victims. It seems like a throwback to the previous verse, speaking about “many are the princes thereof.” This would be (I believe) one of those many princes that won’t last too long.
Though in a position of authority, and achieving an established income of some sort, the poor man does not shed his impoverished ways. If he needed to scrape and struggle before, he will while in authority without relent. He will continuously gather for himself, and take away from those who lived as he once did.
Just because someone comes from a certain set of circumstances, doesn’t mean that the person is capable of empathy toward those who are stuck in the same set of circumstances. Kill or be killed, your loss is my gain, you snooze you lose, be quick or be dead, are just a handful of sayings that come out of a “me first” mentality.
Rich people who harbor this kind of mentality work things out differently than a poor person would. They are comfortable in their riches, and don’t feel the hunger to have to gather everything and anything possible while they still can. Because of this, they are less likely to be as harsh of an oppressor toward the poor as the poor man above.
The sweeping rain is an extraordinary example to give us, to teach us the effect of a poor man’s oppression upon his people. When you think about it, the contrast between a string of dry days or weeks versus a driving rain gives us how the poor man oppressing the poor differs from that of a rich man.
When there is a drought, what is the number one hope for the farmers or the people suffering due to the drought? Rain. A good soaking rain would provide the life giving sustenance that all life is waiting for during a dry spell. So their hopes rest on the possibility of rain showing up sometime to ease their difficulties.
The rich man who delights in oppressing the poor can be likened to the dry spell. Taking his time, knowing that he’s got all day to bring on the heat. If there isn’t enough time for it today, there will always be tomorrow.
A sweeping rain comes in as a welcomed sight to those who are thirsty and suffering from famine caused by a drought. It appears that the hopes that they’ve built up by reason of the drought have come to fruition, and causes hearts of those who were suffering under the heat to rejoice.
But this is a sweeping rain. After the initial rolling in of the weather, it is soon realized that this rain they had long been hoping for isn’t going to help them, but will destroy what they have far faster than any drought.
Hopes are crushed, fields destroyed, seed removed and washed away, and crops spoiled. What they thought would be the answer to their problems is the same thing that would destroy all hopes. And all done in one day.
I would think that many people who are poor, would put their hopes on a poor man who winds up taking a place of authority. In that they would have hope that his understanding of their plight could move him to help them out, and relieve them of the burdens of their poverty. A “one of us” kind of mentality.
Just as the thirsty and hungry souls were excited to see the clouds roll in to end the drought. But rapidly hopes are dashed to the wind.
Man will never fail to disappoint. Anytime we place our trust in man to do right, we are taking a risk and a gamble. We should never assume righteousness from anyone but Christ himself. He is our example to follow, as well as our Rock to lean on.
He is coming back one day (I hope sooner than later), and will school the entire world as to what ruling is all about. Because he is pure, and harboring no iniquities at all whatsoever, and is not tempted by all of the things that mankind is tempted by on a daily basis, and also being God in the glorified flesh, I think all of us will be surprised as to how he executes his rule.
He will rule with a rod of iron. This is going to be a blessing for those who are his, but for those who are not, it won’t seem so appealing.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 18: King James Bible
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Thank you for this example that you’ve given, to help us understand the rightful place that our hopes should rest. Help us to find your handiwork in every situation, so that we see you in action, rather than placing our trust in things that are destroyed by decay and rot, or by man who can’t be trusted as you can be trusted. Help us to do right when presented with an opportunity to do right, and remove the teeth from the oppressors out there, so that their bite has no grip against your Body. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Isn’t it strange that the rich and the poor both have a tendency to be found oppressing the poor?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 29 P. 462 – Wicked Advisers
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 22 P. 337 – Come to Want
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 13 P.147 – Rich or Poor
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 14 P.180 – Mercy on the Poor
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 29 P. 457 – Cause of the Poor