Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
You will be heard in the same way you hear! If you ignore requests by the poor for help, God and others will not hear you when you desperately cry out to Him or them for help. Of course, this rule only applies to the truly poor – those with acts of God in their lives. Truth and wisdom from God do not allow you to help those that are poor due to laziness.
You do not like to get involved? Others will take care of the poor? You are too busy? You are saving for the future and have no money for the poor? You did not know the need was great? You will help next time? God will apply similar excuses to you, when you cry for help, for He sees your hatred, laziness, selfishness, covetousness, and greed.
When you are in need, when a calamity strikes fear into your heart and mind, and you cry out for God’s mercy to deliver and help you, He will not hear your prayers; He will laugh at you, and He will send a curse instead (Pr 1:26-31; 28:27). But He will always hear the cry of the poor that cry against you for not helping them when you could (Ex 22:21-24).
A Jewish priest and a Levite ignored their own wounded countryman lying wounded in a ditch (Luke 10:30-32). They did not want to get involved. They were too busy. They had plans for the day. They had uses for their money. But a Samaritan, whose nation resented the Jews by cultural bias, had mercy on the wounded man and cared for him (Luke 10:33-35; John 4:9). This man loved his neighbor, and he was surely blessed. You may be sure that the great God of heaven ignored the priest and Levite later in their own hour of need.
God watches out for the poor. Do not forget it (Deut 15:7-11; Ps 68:5). He sees when you ignore them; He sees when you help them. He will curse the one action and bless the other (Pr 11:26; 19:17; 22:9; 24:11-12; 28:27; 29:7; Ps 41:1-3). And so will men! They will return your lack of mercy back on you in your hour of need. It is your choice, but the consequences are terrible. Do not ignore a legitimate need, when you become aware of it.
Only the legitimate poor matter in the sight of God. Foolish or lazy men should starve; they deserve nothing (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:10). You are first bound to care for your own family (I Tim 5:8), then for the poor in your church (Acts 2:44-45), then for the poor in other true churches (Acts 11:27-30), and then for strangers that God may put in your path in the ordinary course of life (Luke 10:25-37; Job 31:16-22). The Bible does not obligate you to feel burdened for the world’s poor, for these four responsibilities will be enough.
When you plan a dinner and consider whom to invite, you should invite those who are needy and cannot repay. God will repay. This is the law of Jesus Christ (Luke 14:12-14). Do not think only of your friends, for the great God of heaven will see this selfishness and ignore you in the day of your calamity. There are reasons why some men are blessed and others are cursed. How attentive and compassionate is your mind toward the poor?
A great evidence of eternal life is a man’s willingness to give money to help the poor in the name of Jesus Christ. This is called the labor of love, and it proves election (I Thes 1:2-4; Gal 5:6). God will never forget acts of charity toward His children (Heb 6:10; Matt 25:31-46). A generous man can lay up a good foundation for the time to come – the Day of Judgment – and lay hold on eternal life by this kind of cheerful giving (I Tim 6:17-19).
Are you a liberal man? Or churlish, like Nabal? God loves and blesses the former and hates and curses the latter (Is 32:5-8; I Sam 25:2-3). Which are you? Liberal souls are creative and generous to think how to help those in need – and God accepts and blesses them, both now and in the Day of Judgment (Is 32:8; Pr 22:9). Churlish men are selfish and evil, and they resent helping others, no matter their need, because they are wicked.
A heavenly secret is that giving money away is the best way to get ahead financially. “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again” (Pr 19:17). “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse” (Pr 28:27). “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Pr 11:24-25).
A rich man who denied crumbs to a beggar in this life was denied a drop of water in the hellfire of eternity (Luke 16:19-26). Jesus Christ became poor to make you rich, and you should be most willing to do the same for your brethren (II Cor 8:9; I John 3:16-19). Your care of the children of God is one of the best evidences you are a child of God.