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Date: August 9

Category: God Answers

Proverbs 28:27, Proverbs 21:13
"He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes [from their want] will have many a curse." "Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor will cry out himself and not be heard."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThese two verses relate well to one another. From these verses, we learn the importance of reaching out to the needy. There will always be poor people amongst our society. There will always be poor people in our world, but it is our job to care for them and help supply for their needs. Throughout the Bible, we can see that God cares for the poor. He has a heart for the orphans, the widows, and other needy people. And He desires for us to help them. So here in Proverbs 28:27a God says, "He who gives to the poor will not want…" When you want something then it means you are in lack. But here God says that if we give to the poor then we will not want, meaning we will not be in lack. In other words, God will meet our needs when we help meet the needs of the poor. There won't be anything lacking or anything missing in our lives when we extend a generous hand to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick.

Actually in Isaiah 58:7-8a we read what a true fast is that God accepts, "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house – when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? Then shall your life break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily…" We can see that God even promised healing to those who care for the poor. Then in verse 9a it says, "Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am…" So along with healing, God also promises to answer our prayers if we take care of the needy.

Then we read in verse 11a, "And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones…" So God will always guide and direct us and He will satisfy us even through rough times. Some people are never satisfied in life. It's usually because they only think about themselves. Selfishness is the root of all unhappiness. That's why God teaches us in His Word to be generous because we will reap great benefits when we are generous to the poor.

But the same is true on the opposite side as well. If we don't act generously toward the poor, then there are negative things that we will reap. Let's go back and read the second part of Proverbs 28:27, "..but he who hides his eyes [from their want] will have many a curse." So those who choose not to look at the needs of the poor will have a curse come upon them. We read more about what that curse is in Proverbs 21:13, "Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor will cry out himself and not be heard." The curse here is that God will not hear our prayers if we don't tend to the needs of the poor. This is just like what we read in Isaiah 58. When we extend our hand to the needy, then God will hear our prayers. But if we stop our ears to their cries, meaning if we ignore the cries of the poor, then God will ignore our cries as well. What a powerful truth!

So if we see a person in need and we are able to help them, then it is our job to open our hearts and our wallets to help. When we do that, God is pleased by our obedience. He's pleased by our generosity. When God is pleased, then He will answer our prayers and He will heal and direct us. But if we purposely shut our ears to the cries of the poor, then God says in this passage that He will shut His ears to our cries as well. That's a terrible thing to let happen. So there is so much power in generosity. There are great benefits for us when we are generous to the poor. So today, let's be generous toward others, especially toward those who are needy. There is great joy in that – for us, the people we help, and for God.

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» After Repentance
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