Friday, July 29, 2011

Proverbs 22:22 commentary; rob not the poor, because he is poor

22 ¶ Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: 23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

There are many verses in the Bible where God insists that the cause of the poor in justice and the need of the poor in society is His concern. I’ll post some of them here so you can see God’s attitude toward the poor.

The Hebrews were told to loan money to the poor at no interest.

Exodus 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

(Modern dictionaries define usury as excessive or illegal interest on loans, I suppose, in order to let bankers off the hook. However, the Bible defines usury as any interest on a loan, either in money or in goods.

Leviticus 25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.)

They were not to set their face against a poor man because he is poor in matters of justice.

Exodus 23:6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

Provisions were made in this agrarian society for the poor’s support, provided they were willing to do something for themselves.

Leviticus 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

The gate was where decisions were made, where kings sat to dispense justice.

2Samuel 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.

2Chronicles 18:9 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

The Lord will plead the cause of the poor, be their advocate, and when the day of judgment for the world comes, those who have oppressed the poor will answer. They may think they were great Christians, perhaps very charity minded and gave away millions or even billions to establish libraries, hospitals, and churches but if they have oppressed the poor, they will have to give an answer. Someone will say, you mean the poor of His people. But in the Christian doctrines, while we are to pay particular attention to the household of God we are to do good and not to do wrong to ALL men. The Christian who thinks that he is only required to be just and fair and honest within the church is deceived.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

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