We sometimes forget that there are many teachings in the New Testament that come from the Old Testament. “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be heard” is one of those teachings.
Shortly after Jesus began His ministry of teaching and preaching, He said, “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” However, Jesus did more than preach and teach “The Beatitudes,” He brought them to life by the way He lived: what He did. If people were hungry, He fed them. If they were sick, He healed them. If they were blind, He gave them sight. If they were lost, He set them on the right path. If they were in darkness, He shed His light to guide them.
Solomon warns us that if we expect good things from God, we must “not shut our ears to the poor.” Those who are poor and in need are just as important to God as the wealthiest. But the wealthy and those who have more than “the least of these” are obligated to have “open ears” and do something when they hear the cry of the poor. Closed ears and hardened hearts cannot expect God to have open ears and soft hearts when they cry to Him in times of need.
Persons who are unrighteous and self-centered and care only for themselves do not understand God’s love and mercy and grace. If we love, as God loves, mercy and grace will flow from our hearts - as it does from His. Then our ears will be open and our hearts touched and our hands outstretched to bring hope and help and healing to the poor.
One more thought: No matter how “secure” we may think we are with what we have, there is no guarantee that our riches will last forever. We, too, may be forced to cry for His help!
Prayer: Help us, Father, to have ears and eyes that are open, heads that think of others, hearts that are tender, and hands that help and bring healing to those in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be heard.