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Proverbs – On Justice and the Poor, Prov 31:1-9, 14:20-22 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:30

Poverty is a complex issue with social, economic, spiritual, and relational implications. Steve offered us three major points of reflection on this theme of justice and the poor from Proverbs.


1. The poor are sometimes lazy, and need to work, and to work smart.

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest—

and poverty will come on you like a thief

and scarcity like an armed man. (Prov 6:10-11)

Proverbs teach us to have a good work ethic. Laziness certainly does and can lead to poverty in certain situations, especially when one is capable to work.



2. The poor are sometimes victims, so those who've oppressed them need to be brought to justice. The poor need to have what they deserve restored to them.

An unplowed field produces food for the poor,

but injustice sweeps it away. (Prov 13:23)

Exodus and Deuteronomy laid the foundation for a society that God envisioned. Laws like the Year of Jubilee ensured that families would retain land even when catastrophes and tragedies came upon a family. The OT Prophets advocated for those who were oppressed.


3. Given the complexity of poverty, you have to walk close to the poor to know when & how to help them.

The poor are shunned even by their neighbours,

but the rich have many friends.

It is a sin to despise one’s neighbour,

But blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. (Prov 14:20-21)

Steve shared a story of a friendship with a youth in Africa. Through that friendship, Steve was able to support this young person’s passion for studies and education. Jennifer also shared a story of friendship from her time living and serving amongst residents in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside. Through those friendships, Jennifer saw people freed from addictions, come to know Christ, and find work.


May Christ our Lord, stir our hearts so that we can act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God


Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:37