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Reproaching Our Maker

Join me for a little journey today.

Jesus said something curious once: “…you have the poor with you always…” (Matthew 26:11a).

At first glance, this quote might make it seem as if Jesus didn’t care about the poor…those who lacked. However, we know He had great compassion for those who lacked money, food, circumstances, healing, peace, and on and on.

The Lord was just pointing out that this is a constant on the earth: people will ALWAYS lack something they need.

The writer of Proverbs tells us this:

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5)

It is good for a person to work hard, earn a lot of money and live well. It’s a fortunate thing for a person to be born into wealth.

There’s nothing wrong with these situations.

However, when someone “mocks the poor” he reveals that something ugly is happening inside himself. The word “mocks” means “to deride and to scorn”. It has to do with despising them to their faces, ridiculing them. It often involves sneering and making faces at someone.

When a person does this to another who is in unfortunate circumstances he reveals that he feels superior to the one who lacks. He bases his ideas on earthly superiority and inferiority on, well, earthly things. This is foolish because, as Paul points out, earthy things are temporary: “…the form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31)

Besides, it doesn’t take much to cause a person rich in anything to become himself poor in that thing.

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5)

The writer of this Proverb points out that when someone mocks the person who lacks he “reproaches his Maker”. This is a particularly bad thing to do. The word “reproaches” means “to taunt or agitate someone about something”.

I’ve witnessed Christians do this. They mock the lost (who lack Jesus). They mock the homeless (who lack a place to live with dignity). They mock the poor among them and abroad. They do this both openly and in secret. They measure those in the world who have less than they do and use themselves and their circumstances as a standard. They MOCK them.

This behavior and the heart behind it taunt and agitate the Maker of All.

You don’t want to be taunting and agitating God.

In the words of Job who had been both rich and poor in many ways: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

Even if we have been wise or hard-working or born into plenty, we have what we have because God said so. We have nothing about which to boast and it is certainly wrong to use our situation to MOCK someone who has less.

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5)

There is a similar heart at work in those who are “glad at calamity”. The word “calamity” means “disaster, destruction, ruin.” It refers to a time of trouble when people are in special need of help. “Calamity” is a terrible thing to experience. The word “glad” means to be “happy, joyful – even gleeful.”

As I write this there are people in our nation who have been chosen to REPRESENT the people who elected them. These political leaders are giddy because a global pandemic and the reaction to it is bringing financial ruin to our and all the other nations of the earth. They see this “calamity” as a way to advance their own temporary earthly positions. They are overjoyed to see so many suffer because they think they themselves will ultimately benefit from the suffering of others.

They are quite literally “glad at calamity”. God says this will not work out in their favor.

“He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5a)

Sadly, I have seen fellow Christians (sometimes leaders) who have delighted in the misfortune of others who disagreed with them or opposed them. They watched for the suffering of others and celebrated their humbling because it was proof to them (in their own eyes) of their own spiritual superiority.

This is perverse behavior that reveals prideful hearts. It will not go unpunished.

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5)

Brothers and sisters, as I read this verse this morning my first thought was that it did not apply to me. I thought the Lord directed me to it so I could look at the words and learn something about “those people who do these things”.

Then I realized that, while He might have me writing this for others, that it DID apply to me. I HAVE looked down on others who didn’t see things my way or react like I do. They were “poor” in these things in my eyes. And, sadly, I HAVE at times experienced satisfaction to see someone who had wronged me “get what they deserved”.

Perhaps, as you read this, you can see yourself in this. Maybe you did these things too; maybe you also operated out of such a heart of pridefulness and vindictiveness. Does it bother you? It hurt my heart to see myself in this verse.

What can we do when we come to realize these things about ourselves?

Our spiritual discomfort is evidence that we are already repenting; our minds about these things are being changed. This is a GOOD thing! So, rejoice knowing that “the goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4b) And let us “repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20b).

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverb 17:5)

Let’s pray for those who are “glad at calamity”, that God will have mercy on them in their punishment. Let’s pray for “the poor”. It’s not wrong to recognize their lack; poverty simply is. Let’s pray for Jesus to give us ways to supply what they lack and the heart to do so.

Thank You, Father, for always addressing our sin and failures. Thank You for loving us as we are…where we are…AND for bringing us ever closer to Your intentions for us.

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6b)

Amen.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, TX

© May 17, 2020

©2018 by Mike McInerney Ministries