Valuable Kindness
Proverbs 19:17
He that has pity on the poor lends to the LORD; and that which he has given will he pay him again.

We gather -

I. THAT HAUGHTY UNKINDNESS IS A HEINOUS SIN. To mock the poor or to oppress the poor is to reproach our Maker. For he that made us made them; and, in many instances, made them to be as they are. The Son of man himself was poor, having nowhere to lay his head; and although it is true that poverty is very often the consequence and penalty of sin, yet, on the other hand, it is often

(1) the accompaniment of virtue and piety; and

(2) frequently it has been the penalty of faithfulness to conviction, and therefore the sign of peculiar worth.

To treat with disdain a condition which God himself has associated with piety and even with nobility of character is to mock our Maker. And to oppress such is to he guilty of a flagrant sin; it is to take advantage of weakness in order to do a neighbour wrong; this is to add meanness to cruelty and injustice. It is, moreover, to do that which our Lord has told us he will consider to be directed against himself (Matthew 25:42, 43).


1. It is accepted by our Divine Lord as a service rendered to himself (text; Matthew 25:35, 36). How gladly would we minister to Jesus Christ were we to recognize in some weary and troubled neighbour none other than the Redeemer himself clothed in human form again! But we need not long for such an opportunity; nor need we wait for it. It is ours. We have but to show practical kindness to "one of the least" of his brethren, and we show it unto him, the Lord himself (Matthew 25:40). And what we do shall be rendered unto us again; i.e. we shall receive in return from our Father that which will fully compensate us. Our reward will include not only this gracious acceptance, but:

2. We shall earn the gratitude of thankful hearts; and if (as is likely enough) we go sometimes unblessed of man, yet at other times we shall not want the cordial, loving, prayerful gratitude of a human heart; and what better treasure could we hold than that?

3. God will bless us in our own hearts forevery kindness we render. He has so made our spirits that they are affected for good or evil by everything we do. Each thought, each deed, leaves us other than we were; stronger, wiser, worthier, or else weaker, less wise, less excellent, than before. Our character is the final result of everything that we have ever done, both in mind and in the flesh. So that each gracious word we speak, each kindly service we render to any one in need, is one more stroke of the chisel which is carving a beautiful character, fair in the sight of God himself.

4. We gain the present favour of our Divine Lord, and may look for his strong succour in our own time of need.

5. We shall receive his word of honour in the day "when every man shall have praise of God" (1 Corinthians 4:5). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

WEB: He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; he will reward him.

The Deserving Poor
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