Proverb for the Day 28:8 — Oppress The Poor…& Get Away With It?!?!

Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

This verse is actually difficult to translate…and even a bit difficult to apply in our world today. But I think the above translation (NIV) is appropriate and expresses the true spirit of the proverb.

The focus is on who does and does not take advantage of “the poor.” While God isn’t mentioned at all, His fingerprints are all over this verse!

The first line discusses “whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor.” No one begrudges someone providing for themselves and their family — but those who would do so at the expense of the poor will not prosper in the end.

The actions of the person in this verse are almost verbatim with treatment of the poor that is condemned in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 25:36-37). So doing this is not only not nice — it’s willfully disobeying God’s clear directives.

Consequently, he or she “amasses it for another who will be kind to the poor.” Almost an exact opposite focus, this is someone who thinks about and treats the poor differently.

They’re “kind to the poor” — that is “gracious,” even “generous,” to them. BTW, the word translated “kind” is the root of the English name Jonathan (Hebrew “gift of the LORD”).

While the message of this verse may seem counter-intuitive to what we see around us every day, we need to remember — God always take the long-view on things.

What’s happening right now is just a snapshot of the moment. Things can…and, at some point, will change pretty quickly!

And when the smoke all clears and the dust all settles, those who are abusive to the poor won’t have much to show. And those who are kind to the poor will be passing it around!