God’s Wisdom for Daily Living
Proverbs 28:3 (KJV):
3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
Proverbs 28:3 (AMP):
3 A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food (plundering them of their last morsels).
Thought for the Day
The poor person who oppresses his poor neighbors is cruel. Rather than strive honorably to better himself, he exploits his fellow poor. He is like the destruction of a torrential rain, which washes seed away and destroys what has grown.
Jesus told a parable about a servant who owed his king a huge sum of money (Matthew 18:23-35). The king was going to sell the servant and all he owned in order to get back a portion of the money owed to him. The servant begged for time to repay the debt. The king had pity upon him and completely forgave his enormous debt. That same servant came upon a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money, but was unable to repay it. However, his attitude toward his fellow servant was not the same as his master’s had been toward him. He cruelly had him thrown in prison. The king heard of this treatment, and angrily reminded the wicked servant that he had been forgiven a much greater debt. He chastised him for his lack of compassion and then handed him over to “the tormentors” until the debt was fully repaid. That servant’s attitude is similar to a poor person who plunders his fellow poor. The fact that he knows how difficult life is, should cause him to recoil from the thought of ever taking anything from his neighbors, but it does not. A person like this is selfish and cruel, like the wicked servant in the parable.
Jesus taught us to ask God to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:14-15), using parables to emphasize that we must forgive others for their trespasses against us because He has forgiven us of ours. Though it may never cross our minds to take from those who are financially poor, we may be cruel to those who are poor in other ways. Some people trespass against others with their poor manners or attitudes. Others trespass against people because of their ignorance and lack of understanding. We ought to have patience with everyone, knowing that we also have shortcomings and need others to be patient with our weaknesses. No matter what others may do, their debt to us is never as tremendous as our debt to God. Like the wicked servant, we have been forgiven a debt so huge we can never repay it. We cannot afford to be unforgiving. An unwillingness to forgive others hurts us more than anyone else, for it grows into a root of bitterness that hinders our walk with God. If we refuse to forgive others, God will allow us to be tormented by the devil. We will dwell in the prison of our own bitterness and pain.
Because the virtues of compassion and forgiveness are traits of our heavenly Father, they must also become our character traits if we are His children.
Prayer Devotional for the Day
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving me of all of my sins and trespasses. Father, may I always be quick to forgive others for their trespasses against me. Lord, I pray that all of Your children live in harmony with each other, and that we all possess a kind and forgiving disposition. Lord, give us love and understanding for each other in the family of God. Let us lift each other up when any of us fall down and may we have Your virtues of grace and mercy toward each other. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.