7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
Before I get into the Proverb let’s review some of the Biblical meanings of hate. Hate can mean to hold in lower regard than another, to not have the affection and respect for someone that is expected.
Genesis 26:27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
Exodus 23:5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
In context, it can also carry the further meaning of not only contempt or to despise, but to also wish to do harm to, to sin against, or to do evil upon. As we see in the case of Psalm 11:5 it can carry the meaning of not only holding in contempt but bringing judgment upon. For instance, to say the Lord hates sin is not to mean that God only holds sin in a lower regard than righteousness. It means much more than that. Here’s some more intense definitions, in context, of hatred.
Job 16:9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Psalm 25:19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
In the context of this Proverb one would think, using common sense, that the relations of the poor hold him in contempt, regard him as much lower than themselves, and hate him. There is no talk of violence in this context, though. So, the enmity doesn’t go so far as an intention to do violence against. The relatives of the poor hold him in contempt, his friends try to go far from him. He goes after them, pleading for help, but they don’t want to have anything to do with him.
The person who always has his hand out, pleading poverty, eventually does get a dose of contempt from his own family and his friends do get sick of him. This is a fact. We’ve all had a relative or an acquaintance who simply refuses to live in a way that is beneficial to his or her own survival and every time we turn around, it seems, they need help financially or are in some trouble with the law. Unfortunately, perhaps, some of us have been that person. This would be a statement of fact and make this Proverb literally one of those truths that was as evident in the Israel of the early first millennium BC as it is in America today.
In our society there are people that will always be poor, not because of disease or infirmity, but because of the choices that they insist on making. In fact, the way we celebrate “rights” that our forefathers never even imagined, some would say that they have a “right” to do the things they do that harm their health and their finances. So, therefore, as it is their right to live the way they do, it is their right to have the consequences of that lifestyle supported by the rest of us through taxes or private charity. This wickedness, I would hope, represents a minority of those on welfare and receiving foreign aid from the taxpaying public. But, a perfectly healthy person who always has his hand out, who spends almost his entire life on the public dole, or a country that can never seem to exploit its own resources or pull its own people up from the misery of poverty in which they live, eventually becomes a nuisance. Those related to them by blood or marriage, ethnicity or treaty, will eventually just turn their backs on them, and, obviously so will others in a position to help, only relenting for the sake of mercy. Of course, I exclude from this countries that are being manipulated and exploited by international, corporate neocolonialism or people who are simply prepped to always be poor and the perfect political football. But, I’m not arguing about welfare or foreign aid.
Are you one of those who always has their hand out either financially, emotionally, or spiritually? Do you always seem to find yourself in a situation where you just can’t make it? Why is that? Have you considered? Whether it be financial need or emotional need, do you always seem to be clinging to others for support and strength? It’s time for you to make a change. You may realize that family and friends have abandoned you and no one is listening to your supplications any more. I have a suggestion for you. Start depending on God. God is the only person in the entire universe who welcomes people to be completely and totally dependent upon Him.
Family will get sick of you, the constant suppliant. Friends will eventually turn their back on you. All of your pleading and begging will fall on deaf ears after you have used their kindness so much. But, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, as the Son (capital S) of God, or God in the flesh, who as God the Son, is the second part of the Trinity, the physical image of the invisible God, will not abandon you. Even if you come to Him over and over again with your hands out and your eyes filled with tears, He will never turn His back on you.
But, you must first come to Him. Do you find yourself all alone? Have you perhaps gone to the well too many times and have no one to help you. Turn to Christ. Believe on and trust in, and simply believe.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Christ will in no way, cast you out, or leave you, because you come to Him again and again for deliverance, mercy, and aid. There is no limitation to His charity or generosity.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Certainly, adjustments will have to be made to your attitude and the way you live but if you are willing to be changed God will Himself do the changing, if you submit yourself daily to His words. Remember, Jesus, in His human existence, prayed to God the Father in heaven;
John 17:17 Sanctify (to set apart for God) them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
My point is, to the poor man or woman physically, emotionally, or spiritually, is that if you turn to Christ, He will never be tired of hearing your pleas for help like the relatives and friends who have abandoned you. He will change your life so that you are stronger, but He welcomes a Christian’s complete and total dependence on Him. Talking to Paul, who was plagued with sickness, perhaps an eye ailment, throughout his ministry, Jesus said;
2Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
In His earthly ministry, Christ said;
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
God’s power is limitless. He doesn’t have to rob anyone through confiscatory taxes at the point of a gun to help you. He doesn’t have to get a consensus from a political body to help you and He doesn’t need anyone’s vote to approve of His effort on your behalf. He’s not a follower of Ayn Rand and will never tell you that if you can’t make it on your own you deserve to die. Now, is the time to turn to Christ and depend on Him for everything. I’m not just talking now about the person who is perpetually needy either in physical, emotional, or spiritual sense. I’m talking to all of you, even the strong. Even you people, who like the church at Laodicea in the book of Revelation, who think they are strong and rich. Maybe you think you’re all that and a bag of chips but don’t realize how wretched and miserable and impoverished you really are. The poor man you turn your back on has one up on you. At least he realizes his poverty. You, like the emperor with no clothes, prance around all proud and full of yourself. We’ll get to you later. Better turn to Christ, unbeliever and Christian alike, because judgment is coming, if not for the world system as yet, then certainly for you personally. There is only one hope.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.