The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
(Proverbs 29:7 NIV)
The effort and sentiment behind the bid to make poverty history is rooted in a tremendous compassion for the poor. Whether humanity will ever reach the stage where the impoverished is a distant memory is open to question, whether efforts should be made to work towards such a reality shouldn’t be open to question.
Chapter 29 is not the only one that features words of wisdom on looking out for the poor, it does crystallise a lot of the thought that’s run through this collection on the proper treatment and approach to the poor. In as much as the wise man does not spell out the eradication of poverty, he certainly wants rulers and their subjects or citizens to be not just sympathetic to their plight, but actively engaged in justice for them.
What does that look like today? Is it just about legislation and government policy? Is it about charities and their funding for the work they do? Does it concern the use of significant wealth accumulated by a very small minority? Where does the generosity of the human spirit play a part for everyone whatever economic level?
Figures throughout history have taken these questions and the wisdom of God to heart and let it motivate their actions to set up initiatives and movements that have done much to address the quest for justice for the poor. They have not turned a blind eye to the squalor, they have not merely uttered noble sentiments, they have used their words as the vehicle for life- changing action that not only changed those they served, but left an impact on generations after them reflecting the love of God for those marginalised and neglected.
Let’s hope such wisdom propels us today to take our place in the stream of these men and women who will live for justice.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden