Book: Proverbs 19
Proverbs 19:17 “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord – and he will repay you!”
God desires that we would have compassion for the poor just as He does. His compassion is more than just feeling sympathy for them, it involves taking action. Consider what He has done for you and me. In Isaiah 53:6 we are described as sheep that have chosen to go the wrong way, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.”
Notice that it doesn’t say that because we made the wrong choice God said, “Too bad for you. You chose the wrong way so you are on your own.” No, it says that He took the penalty of our sin onto himself. He showed compassion with action! We all were poor, yet He had compassion and acted.
The term “help” in the original language means “to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior”. This is much more than just throwing a dollar or two at a person begging for money as you pass by them on the street. Giving money without taking the time to understand the situation and person could actually be hurting them. “To bend or stoop” means that you have to stop, get down to their level and engage with them. This takes time and energy. Consider the example of Jesus coming from heaven to the earth as a man. He walked and lived on this earth with people like you and me. He ate, walked, and spoke into their lives. Yes, He even healed people and did miracles for what they needed but could not do on their own.
As we have compassion with action for the poor God will generously repay. Why would He do that? So that we can do it again and again fulfilling His plan. Think again back to the gift of salvation He has given us. He gave it to us and expects that we will share the good news with others who will share it with others.
Take time to ask the Lord to help you “to bend/stoop in kindness to someone in need” and help them. Tell Him you want to obey Him in help the poor, His way.