Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Readings from Proverbs

We've been on this "Read through the Bible in a year" programme and at the present wading through the Book of Proverbs. This writings are supposedly written by Solomon, though it is not universally agreed that he was the author or wrote all of it. Parts of it appear to originate from Agur, Lemuel and 'men of Hezekiah' who may have been mere translators. In any case, the Book of Proverbs contains a collections of 'wise' sayings....shrewd observations of life.

Quite a few are directed towards the proper and 'wise' treatment the poor. For me it has been a powerful reminder of our human responsibility to care for the need and disadvantaged among us.

Here are a selection I have extracted:

11:1 The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. 4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

17:5 He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor...
22:16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich-- both come to poverty.
22:22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.

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