- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 14:20
"The poor is hated even by his neighbor, but those who love the rich are many"
This proverb is foreign to our ears and seemingly harsh in its judgment. It essentially pronounces a moral judgment on those who have nothing with which to bless people. The people, who are always with their hand out, are wanting other people's abundance with no abundance to share from themselves.
This is the Hebrew word rush, which means to be in want or poor or destitute. This is destitution of basic needs. Solomon seems to be using this word to speak of those who have nothing to give and no blessings to bestow – only needs. The people who never have enough and never produce more than they consume of anything are the poor that is being talked about here.
Solomon is introducing his students to the cold, cruel world of real life. "If you don't have anything to give to others, they won't like you." And, in fact, if they always perceive you as asking for their surplus or goods or favors, then they will begin to avoid you and even despise the one-way nature of their relationship with you.
This is the Hebrew word ashir, which means to be rich or to have abundance – more than you need for that day or that week. This is what riches were. The person who has abundance to share with others is rich. Solomon is stating – in rather blunt terms – that those who have nothing to give to others are looked down upon and even despised and those who have abundance to share are loved and flocked toward.
The abundance that you may have might not be monetary. It might be love itself. It might be some service. It might be time. It might be a listening ear. It might be a talent. It is something that you have an abundance of and others want or need. When you share this, many people find great delight in you.
What do you have in abundance that you can bless others with?
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