Proverbs 21.13 — Take care of the poor

“Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.” How does it make sense that God says, “The poor are so special to me,” or, I care about the poor more than any other group, or, “Here is true religion: Take care of the poor”? It’s not because God shows favoritism, or because he loves them more, or because somehow He is more like them than He is like the rest of us. “God loves the poor more” actually means “we’re supposed to love the poor more.” “God identifies with the poor” means that our treatment of the poor is one of the most important gauges of our relationship with God. Why does God identify with the poor? It’s about us.
1. When we give to the poor, we are sharing our resources, which is Godlike (Gn. 1.27ff, where God created the people and then turned creation over to them).
2. It’s an exercise of justice, which is Godlike (Isa. 1.17 and many others).
3. It’s turning our backs on greed, economic power, and accumulation. God loves a cheerful giver.
4. It’s an act of unselfishness, the ultimate sign of God’s presence in the universe.
5. It shows a spirit of giving, which is Godlike.
6. “As much as you have done it to the least of these, my brothers, you have done it unto me” (Mt. 25). In what sense have we done it to God? It’s because we have brought glory to him by acting in a Godlike way.
This proverb is also similar to “You will be forgiven as you forgive others.” If you don’t hear the cry of the poor, then God won’t hear your cry.

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