1 Samuel 2:8 “He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, And He has set the world upon them.”
What does it really mean to be poor? Is money the only indicator of a person’s position or status? How few resources does one need to possess to be considered poor? Does a poor man in America appear poor in The Gambia? Does a billionaire consider middle class families as poor people? Does a man with a metal roof in Tijuana look down upon a man with a grass roof?
The way people see others is based off their perspective.
Evaluating someone’s position apart from their means brings those things that are truly valuable into view by what success really entails.
Proverbs 22:2 “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all.”
The great equalizer among every person on earth is Jesus, he grants grace to whoever seeks His face. To acquire a hearing with the King is to be made presentable before hand. There is no amount of money nor prestige of position that makes you acceptable before God, rich or poor the Lord looks upon the heart.
The Heart of Man
Why people are in the position they are is hard to determine from case to case. When considering the reasons, we have to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding that person.
1 Samuel 2:7 “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.”
The Lord may bring someone low for a reason. Culture may promote the rich in such a way that causes those who are successful to stumble. Money may lead someone into a lifestyle that wrecks them rather than allowing them to grow and mature in Christ. Others trust in their riches as if they don’t need anything else, forgetting that one day they’ll be held accountable to God and how they used those resources. The Lord may build up one person so that they may be used of Him and lower another to reveal His power through them.
Regardless of the reason: God is faithful in all He does.
Proverbs 14:31 “One who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But one who is gracious to the needy honors Him.”
One thing we can be assured of, if we treat the poor with hatred or just disrespect someone simply for their monetary position, we will be offending God.
The world gives greater honor to those who are what they deem as successful. In western society, the level of education someone has garners a greater level of respect. The more someone is published, how many books they may have written, or how many people follow them on a social media site is often the barometer of success.
When considering how God views the poor, the humble, or the destitute we gain a better understanding of how we should see others as well.
- How we treat others in need is a reflection of our hearts. 1 John 3:17 “If anyone with earthly possessions sees his brother in need, but withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God abide in him?”
- The value of a person is no different in God’s eyes. Job 31:14-15 “What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?”
- The Lord identifies with the lowly. Proverbs 17:5 “He who mocks the poor insults their Maker; whoever gloats over calamity will not go unpunished.”
- There is joy in the camp of those who show kindness to the poor. Proverbs 14:21 “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.”
- The Lord celebrates generosity by rewarding those who give in love. Proverbs 19:17 “One who is gracious to a poor person lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
Luke 6:20 “Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.”
The term here for poor is the greek word ptóchos, it is derived from the word ptōssō which means “to crouch or cower like a beggar”) – properly, bent over; (figuratively) deeply destitute, completely lacking resources (earthly wealth) – i.e. helpless as a beggar.
When we come before God helpless, we come before Him in humility. It is a low position a person takes when God then reaches down and lifts up. I’ve known many proud poor and many humble rich, it is not necessarily your monetary position that gives you this advantage….it is your heart.
What will it take for God to lift you up?
There are so many things in life that we strive to hold onto, making ourselves out as our own ruler when God says if we will only give these things up, He will fully supply us. The things we give away to others, He promises to follow with reward. What God’s reward looks like is significantly more substantial than the reward this world holds onto.
When we consider all that God supplies us with, we can confidently say we are made rich in Christ. We are called to share this wealth of spiritual treasure with others. We are called to share our monetary wealth with others as well.
What has God supplied you with?
Give it back to Him and see what He does with it.