An Unheard Cry
“Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry and not be answered.”
There are millions – actually billions – of people in poverty in the world. It is estimated that over 25,000 people die every day from lack of food and preventable diseases.
While these are staggering numbers and may seem far, far away from us, there is also much poverty in your city. In Birmingham, Alabama where I live, over 28% of residents live below the poverty line.
And so far we’re just talking about material poverty. A useful definition that I have heard is this, “Poverty is a lack of options.” Poverty can extend to many categories beyond just material poverty. This can be due to a person’s present situation, their social status, or their relationships.
When you think of the poor, who or what do you think of?
The poor are crying out for help. Are you shutting your ears to their cries?
God commands those with resources to hear the cries of the poor and to act.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19
While 1 Timothy provides a positive encouragement for being generous, note the warning in the back half of Proverbs 21:13 “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry and not be answered.” If you are shutting your ears to the poor, might that be hindering your prayers?
I am convicted by this verse to hear the cry of the poor, to have compassion on them, to take action for their good, and to trust God to provide all that I need both for myself and to continue to bless others in His Name.