The Deserving Poor
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 are told that the poor shall never cease out of the land. Paley defines a poor man as he, of whatever rank, whose expenses exceed his resources. It is very clear from this that there may be poverty which has no claim to our commiseration and charity.

I. MAN'S DUTY TOWARDS THE DESERVING POOR. "He that hath pity on the poor." Two things are implied concerning this pity.

1. It must be practical. The text speaks of it as lending to the Lord. It is pity, therefore, that gives, that does something to relieve distress. The pity that goes off in sentimental sighs, or goes no farther than words, saying, "Depart in peace, be warmed, be filled," is not true pity — the pity that God demands for the poor.

2. It must be genuine. The words imply that the pity is "accepted of the Lord." He takes it as a loan; therefore it must be genuine. The service rendered is from right principles. There is a large amount of charity shown to the poor which is inspired by motives abhorrent to Omniscient Purity.

II. GOD'S INTEREST IN THE DESERVING POOR. God's interest in the poor is shown in three ways.

1. In the obligation that is imposed on the rich to help them. He denounces all neglect and cruelty of the poor. "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chamber by wrong, that useth his neighbour's service without wages." Again, "Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker." He inculcates practical sympathy for the poor (Exodus 22:21, 22; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33; Leviticus 25:35; Deuteronomy 10:19; Deuteronomy 24:19; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 1:17-23).

2. In the earthly condition into which He sent His Son.

3. In the class from which He selected His servants.

III. THE DIVINE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SERVICE TO THE POOR. "And that which he hath given will He pay him again." Every gift of genuine piety to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and a loan that shall be paid.

1. It is often amply repaid in this world (Deuteronomy 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

2. It will be acknowledged in the day of judgment. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

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 Best Loan
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