May 20

The righteous know the rights of the poor. Proverbs 29:7 

God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. Hebrews 6:10

To quote the National council of churches daily mediation page: “We are steeped in news stories of sickness, injustice, vulnerability and loss. “ Proverbs has a number of verses about those who are righteous knowing the rights of the poor. For example in in Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord.” Or in 29:14 – “If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.”  In our world today, and probably at most times, it would seem that only those who are well off are seen as those who God favors. The poor? It must be their fault, something they did wrong. We even hear, well if they would just get a job then they wouldn’t be homeless and hungry.

The Bible tells us something radically different from what the world does and what our Lord expects.  Our God is a just God, slow to anger.  He cares about all of His creation, all people whether rich or poor or in between. He also does tell us there is some responsibility: those who are blessed are to be a blessing. To those to whom much is given, much will be required.  We have the story of Jesus  saying that those who feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, supply clothing and shelter to those who need it, care for the sick and visit those in prison are the ones who are blessed. And, then he adds, if you do it to the least of these, it is the same as doing it for Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews states it as “God is not unjust.”  He cares for the rights of everyone. We who follow Jesus, and are hopefully the righteous (at least we think we might be) know that the poor have rights. We know that people of any color have rights, of any nationality or ethnicity. God does see the things we do, and will see the love we show toward others.

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 

Jesus, thank you for the privilege of serving your saints. Too often we are stingy with our energy, our money, and ourselves. Compassionate Lord, there is great need in your world. Be with the poor, the homeless, the orphaned, and the forgotten in our midst. Ease their burden and give them hope. Lead us to love our neighbors, and help us see what is needed and help us fulfill those needs. Amen

Chris Gabel