TEXT: PROVERBS 22:16-29.
🔑KEY VERSE “Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate” (PROVERBS 22:22)
God, our Creator, has given severe warning to the rich and influential to desist from robbing the poor and oppressing the afflicted and downtrodden.
The tendency of man is to exploit the weak, poor and ignorant folks around him and reduce them to puppets, serving only his interest. The strong and mighty, in almost all human societies, have often violated their rights and reduced the privileges of those who cannot challenge them. The result of this unjust treatment is attendant upheavals such as strife, agitations, protests, conflicts and wars which have become common occurrence around the globe today.
Social injustice is the root cause of many catastrophes known in human history. It’s spiritual effect is more devastating in time and eternity for those who delight in the oppression of the poor and the lowly members of the society. The God of truth and justice hates oppression and turns His hands and attention against wicked oppressors of His children. Indeed, “…the way of the wicked He turneth upside down” (Psalm 146:9).
Prophet Isaiah made more scathing remarks about those oppressors, “Woe unto them who decree unrighteous decrees, and write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgement, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!” (Isaiah 10:1,2). God hates oppression and we should not overtly or covertly use it on others – whether rich or poor. Honour should be given to all.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Do not add more pain to aching souls.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 CHRONICLES 5-8.
Things true Christians must avoid
- Contempt for the needy vv16, 22,23.
a. What are different ways people cheat and show contempt for the needy today?
b. What are the divine penalties for despising the needy in vv16,23?
c. How have you been treating your subordinates, needy neighbours and brethren, house helps, employees etc? Reflect!
- Companionship with the nettled vv24,25.
a. Hot tempered people are self enemies and dangers to others.
b. Are you an hot tempered person?
c. Is an hot tempered person your companion?
- Caution before acting as a guarantor for the needy vv26,27.
Love and concern should be balanced with wisdom. You should only serve as a guarantor for someone you are sure will not disappoint or you have the ability in case of bankruptcy. There are many other ways of helping the needy.
- Carelessness with new age tendencies v28.
a. The tendency of the new age is to question, deviate and change divinely ordained norms, culture, faith and biblical doctrines.
b. The tendency of the new age is to remove the boundaries between worldliness and Christianity.
c. Carelessness with divinely ordained ancient landmarks should be avoided at all costs.
- Costly negligence v29.
Laziness, procrastination and negligence of duty are opposed to godliness and divine favour.
Ask God for forgiveness in any way you have not treated the needy good enough🙏
Ask for grace and true love to be treating the needy the way Jesus would have done🙏
Pray for lowliness and grace to ever keep to the divinely ordained Bible standards in this new age of skepticism🙏
Pray that the Church will not deviate from the old time religion and biblical convictions🙏
HYMN Does Jesus care?