30 Days of wisdom - Saying 2 - DO NOT EXPLOIT THE POOR - GOD HAS THEIR BACKS
SAYING 2 – Prov 22:22 - 13
“Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life." Prov 22:22-23
We live in a world where there is often a massive difference between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. So much so that it has been noted that the 85 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest half of the world (source). That is 85 V approx 3.5 Billion. Now don't hear this statistic and push away the thought and simply point with out consideration. If you earn $25000 AUD or over you are in the top 6.4 percent of the world in terms of income, $50000 AUD and you are in the top one percent. You can check out your position on www.globalrichlist.com
This verse however is not about it being bad to have money, it is about what we do when we are positioned in places of strength financially or positionally. The simply reality is that on some level money does buy power and influence. Power and position used incorrectly is hugely damaging but note the opposite is also true. Your financial or positional strength can be used for liberation rather than oppression.
The saying notes that the Lord himself “will take up their case and exact life for life”. That is a pretty heavy and significant statement, you oppress the poor of participate in injustice and God has your number. Proverbs 14:31 tells us
“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.” Prov 14:31
Among the sin of Sodom was that they were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49). Positively scripture tells us
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” Prov 19:17
It is so easy to eat the seed in your hand rather than sow it. Scriptures talks of first fruits giving and giving to the poor as the first thing you do with your finance. Consider your giving both
to God and to the poor as part of the first portion of your budget not the last. What you do with your 'first' will shape how you live with the rest.
As a Church we support a number of projects in general but at present a major focus is our giving towards the refugee situation in eastern Turkey caused by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. This very week we are enabling the setting up of more permanent housing for two families of 13 from Kobane.
You can “lend to the Lord” (Prov 19:17) by going to lifecitychurch.com/giving and check out the options for our Global Reach giving there. You can also see some photos below and more at our inhouse site - lifecitychurch.elvanto.com.au - if you are not part of LIFECITY CHURCH some shots are private due the sensitive nature of the work there and you may not be able to see them all.
Canberra is the wealthiest city in Australia per capita and Australia one of the richest in the world. We have a responsibility to do what we can.
"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people." Martin Luther King, Jr.
WISE ACTION 2: GIVE SOMETHING TO THE POOR TODAY!