Knowing the Rights of the Poor–Or Not

A righteous person knows the rights of the poor; a wicked person does not understand such knowledge.
Proverbs 29:7

This ancient piece of wisdom is straightforward and clear.  In the context of ancient Israel, it meant that the poor were to be taken care of–no attitude or feeling about the poor mattered.  The poor were the obligation of the Israelite to care for.  A righteous Israelite knew what they were supposed to DO. Providing for the poor was simply part of the faithful life.

“The poor don’t deserve it.  They are lazy.  They have screwed up their lives, why should I do anything about it?  Lazy people are just draining my money from me.  They have a cell phone (or other object) and I’m supposed to pay for their food stamps?  You know they sell those food stamps for drugs, right?”

That’s what modern Americans often say about the poor.  Many of them are Christians.  They have forgotten the wisdom of their Holy Book.

Bob Patrick

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