Proverbs 22:16

He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.


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Here are two rules for your financial success. God will bless or curse you economically depending on how you treat the rich and the poor. Heaven’s secrets are revealed here.

If you take advantage of the poor to build your wealth, God and men will take you down to poverty. If you reward the rich for the same greedy goal, you will also end up destitute. Good men give to the poor and deal fairly with the rich, for this is just and righteous.

God expects you to be merciful and kind to those with less, especially the poor and needy like widows and their children. Solomon pressed this rule later in this chapter (Pr 22:22-23). How important is this rule of wisdom? Consider the warning of whose side the LORD is on and what He will do to those who oppress the poor. God severely judges those who mistreat the weak and needy (Job 20:15-29; Isaiah 5:8-10; Zech 7:8-14).

Godly men bless and help those beneath them, for they know full well that any difference among men is by God’s sovereign choice, not their deserving (Rom 12:16; I Cor 4:7). They know God has special affection and care for widows and their children, so they are very cautious and generous in financial dealings with them (Pr 23:10-11; Ps 12:5; 68:5).

Squeezing the poor to get ahead is sinful, stupid, and counter-productive, for God will fight for them (Pr 28:16). Pay full price or more for purchases from them (Pr 20:14). Give full measure or quantity for their purchases (Pr 16:10). Lower your price for their purchases, even if you control the market (Pr 11:26). Be generous (Deut 15:7-11; Luke 6:38). You will never lose giving to the poor; God will repay (Pr 14:21,31; 19:17; 28:27).

What kind of man gives to the rich instead of the poor? A greedy man that thinks only of building a network or obtaining favor for potential profits. Such men will grind the poor while they pamper the rich. The religion of Jesus Christ is different, for His inspired rule is to ignore your friends and invite those who cannot repay (Luke 14:12-14). There is no real goodness or righteousness shown by generosity to family or friends (Luke 6:32-36).

Favor to the rich, especially while denying help to the poor, is perverse, and it will bring God’s judgment as surely as stealing from a widow or orphan. Hate the thought of bribes, or any payments even related (Pr 15:27). Even if you secure the rich as friends, they will not save you from an angry God (Pr 11:21). God hates such violent men (Ps 5:5; 11:5). They have generally been the enemies of truth and religion (Jas 2:1-7; 5:1-9; Acts 13:50).

Consider God’s treatment of His elect. Jesus Christ became poor in order to make them rich (II Cor 8:9). Though contrary to human thinking, this spiritual transaction was by the glorious wisdom of God. But for those who neglect the grace He gives, He will take from the poor the little that they think they have and give it to the rich (Luke 8:18; 19:24-26).