Poor Vs. Rich
"Any of God's people who are poor should be glad he thinks so highly of them... But any who are rich should be glad when God makes them humble. Rich people will disappear like wild flowers."
I really struggle with the meaning of this verse. Living in America today, we see politicians and the media doing everything they can to pit the poor against the rich. All of us if we are honest really struggle with this as well. It is hard to look at the rich and see the ease of their lives in comparison. Movies, magazines and television, all tout the joys of being wealthy. By the same token, we see the poor as something to be avoided. Yet God thinks highly of the poor and makes the rich humble? If he thinks so highly of the poor, then why are they poor? That is the question we really ask. But another question is what does God see as poor and rich?
We see the poor as those who live on welfare and get food stamps. Is that how God sees them? I don't think so, Multiple times in the bible, God tells us to help the widowed and the orphan. He even had laws in harvest that were to benefit the poor.
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 23:22
When you have nothing, you have to depend on others to provide. The key is who or what are you depending on. This was something for both the poor and the rich. The rich were commanded to leave some for the poor. In other words don't be greedy and harvest to the end of your field. But it didn't mean that the rich man had to go out, do the harvest and give to the poor. God said leave for the poor. I don't want this to be political, but it needs to be said that their is a difference between those who are poor and needy and those who abuse the system. God said to leave the gleanings for the poor. It was understood that the poor would come through the fields and harvest the gleanings themselves. For additional insight, read the story of Boaz and Ruth. Ruth was poor but she didn't go to Boaz and expect him to do the work, she did it herself. God was setting up provisions for the poor but they still needed to work for them. That is the key to understanding this passage. The poor were dependent on the landowners to be obedient to God's word. If the rich were humble (poor in spirit - in they recognized their status before God.), then they would leave the gleanings. In addition, it put the responsibility of helping the poor on us as individuals. I believe that if we as the church - us individually, did what we are called to do, their would be no need for the government to provide assistance programs.
As poor, we are the sinners who recognize our state, and we are looking to no one else but God for our saving. The rich in contrast with their wealth, do not depend on God for their daily provisions. (I AM NOT SAYING THAT ALL RICH ARE THE SAME) It is easy when you have everything you desire and do not worry for your daily provisions, to forget God. To forget that it is because of God that you are blessed. When he humbles the rich, it's a reminder. Those that are humbled, then become poor - not because they have lost their money or wealth, but because they recognize their dependence on God. Those that do not, will disappear.
The truth is that the poor are by far richer in Gods definition. All the money, notoriety, fame and stuff this world has to offers, does not compare to the peace we get from knowing that God is ours.
Created over 1 year ago