Proverbs 19:17

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.


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Here is outstanding investment advice. Where else can you find a risk-free rate of return that pays guaranteed dividends in this life and eternity? History’s richest king, Solomon, tells you about a fully secure investment that yields a variety of large profits perpetually.

Helping the poor financially is like making a loan to the LORD Jehovah. The metaphor is powerful. The true God is a great credit risk. He will repay for sure, and He will include interest and blessings with it. You can never lose giving to the LORD. He represents the poor, because He has made them and protects them (Ps 10:14; 12:5; 140:12; Eccl 5:8).

Financial success is not hard. Give to the truly poor, and God will repay your kindness with liberal blessings. Economic prosperity was never so easy. Almighty God will send prosperity down on you. If you scatter money cheerfully, He will compensate you well (Pr 11:24; Lu 6:38; II Cor 9:7). If you hold back, poverty will come for sure (Pr 11:24). Of course, the world and your flesh, which are hateful by nature, do not believe this rule.

This proverb is a God-ordained law. Believe and trust it like you do gravity and other natural laws. The business programs at Harvard, Stanford, and the Wharton School are jokes in comparison to Solomon’s wisdom. Knowledge of his proverbs is superior to the silly little MBA’s from these schools (Pr 28:11; I Tim 6:20). Not only are those schools ignorant of Solomon’s wisdom, but it is even illegal for those Bible-haters to teach it.

There is little difference between the rich and poor, for God has made them both (Pr 22:2). The fact that one man has more than another man is God’s choice, not personal superiority (I Cor 4:7; Eccl 9:11). The rich should never mock the poor or gloat over them (Pr 14:21,31; 17:5). It is the solemn duty and privilege of all men to kindly consider the poor (Pr 28:3; 29:7; Ps 41:1). Start with your heart – do you truly pity the truly poor?

Considering and helping the poor is so important to God that He attached blessings and punishments to such charity. Giving to the poor will bring financial blessings to the giver (Pr 22:9; 28:8,27; Ps 112:9). Being stingy with the poor will bring financial judgment on selfish wretches (Pr 21:13; 22:16; 28:27). He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

Who are the poor, and where are they? They are not on television programs from socialist do-gooders rejecting God and truth. This includes “prosperity gospel” heretics posing as Christians. They often use pictures of bloated and starving babies simply to increase their cash flow to siphon off for their carnal “ministries.” Nations perpetuating poverty by ignorance, superstition, slothfulness, or tradition are not objects for Christian charity.

The poor are orphans and widows, or others suffering under acts of God, which He puts in your path (Jas 1:27). The Good Samaritan did not go to slums looking for wounded Jews, but he was eager to help a poor Jew put in his way by God’s providence (Luke 10:33). The Bible sets the order as family, your church, other churches of truth, and then God’s providence (I Tim 5:8; Acts 11:28-30; Rom 12:13; 15:26; Gal 6:10; I Jn 3:17).

The poor do not include foolish or lazy men, unless they repent and do all they can for themselves. Foolish or lazy men should starve, as it is the best teaching device and appropriate justice (Pr 20:4; Matt 25:1-30; II Thess 3:10). Wise and diligent men are not obligated to provide a general insurance fund for foolish or slothful men. Let sluggards or wasters learn wisdom and diligence God’s way (Pr 16:26). His welfare system is perfect.

What should you give the poor? Food, clothing, and shelter, or things closely connected to these basic necessities (Job 31:16-22; Is 58:7; Ezek 18:5-9; Jas 2:15-16). Luxuries or pleasures are not the nature of true charity. Considering the poor is seeing their needs, not their foolish desires (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35). Toys for Christmas is not true charity. Neither is the Bible communistic – the more gifted and diligent should enjoy life more.

In the churches of Jesus Christ, the giving is to be overseen by bishops and deacons, lest the undeserving receive charity and the deserving be overlooked. The money of the early church was laid at the apostles’ feet for them to make distribution (Acts 4:35,37; 5:2). When the task became too great for them, they ordained deacons for the job (Acts 6:1-6).

Only cheerful giving works (II Cor 9:7; Gal 2:10). If you give begrudgingly, you lose twice. You lose the money you give, and you lose the promised blessings. You are a loser twice over. You brought nothing into this world, and you will take nothing out. You have been blessed, so why is your soul so stingy about giving to the poor? Choose instead to have a generous mentality that loves to give, and God will bless you (Is 32:8; Mic 6:8).

Only a faithless fool says, “I cannot afford to give.” The truth is he cannot afford NOT to give. He is poor because of his stinginess. If he loosened his purse, he would be blessed financially. But of course, unbelievers cannot grasp this simple and certain lesson. The faithful man believes the promise and takes advantage of it with cheer and thanksgiving.

God does not overlook a single dime you give, or minute you donate, to the poor. He will repay. And He does not overlook a single dime you withhold or a minute you keep for yourself. He repays that as well. God will take the little that a selfish and stingy man has and give it to the rich man, who liberally gives to the poor (Matt 25:14-30). Amen!

Giving to the poor is an endowment fund for your family. Psalm 112 describes the man that truly fears the Lord and God’s blessings upon him. This man is gracious, full of compassion, shows favor, lends, disperses, and gives to the poor. God blesses his children with greatness, adds wealth and riches to his estate, gives him light for living, remembers his righteousness forever, and defeats his enemies after humiliating them.

Wise men with faith rejoice to give to the poor. They know charity is the greatest grace and mark of Christianity (I Cor 13:13; Jn 13:35; I Jn 3:16-19). They know one purpose and goal for hard work is to have more to give (Eph 4:28). They know charity is a more excellent way of serving Jesus Christ than being an apostle (I Cor 12:28 – 13:3). Amen!

Almighty God will repay every gift you give to the poor. He will repay the principal – you will never be short. He will repay with interest – you will have more than if you had not given. He will also repay with many other blessings (Pr 14:21; Eccl 11:1-6; Phil 4:17-19; I Tim 6:17-19). He will remember every dime in the Day of Judgment, even when you forget in the heat of that solemn event (Matt 25:31-46; Luke 14:12-14; Heb 6:10).

If you still have a hard time giving, consider the glorious Benefactor of His children, the Lord Jesus Christ. For their desperate and starving condition in the poverty of sin and condemnation, He became poor so they might be made rich. Do you understand this glorious message of the gospel? Is Jesus the Son of God? Then follow Him! What darkness of heart or mind causes any believer to hold back from giving (II Cor 8:9)?