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CHARITY

November 30, 2015

Monday

 

Proverbs 14:21

 

He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

 

 

LESSON

 

Evidently the “neighbor” in view in line one is “poor,” in view of line two. Rather than despising or belittling a poor neighbor, one should be “gracious” toward him. Doing so will bring joy to both parties. Abraham treated his nephew Lot graciously, and gave him the choice of whateverpart of the Promised Land he wanted for himself. The result was ongoing good relations.

“One should regard every human being, especially such as God has placed near to him, as a being having the same origin, as created in the image of God, and of the same lofty destination, and should consider himself as under obligation to love him.

In most cases in Israel, neighbors would reside in the same village as their benefactors and be in day-by-day touch with them. Their needs, therefore, would be well known. They were not the drifters, panhandlers, and street people who knock at the door of city churches and tell us tragic and often false stories of urgent need. Nothing in this list of proverbs suggests that con men are in view.

We are in danger of despising our neighbors. The rich despise the poor, the learned despise the ignorant, the strong and healthy despise the weak and ailing. But we are wrong in doing this. There is, indeed, one thing which may draw down a strong and even intense reprobation , moral baseness, meanness, a cruel and heartless selfishness, or a slavish abandonment to vice. But even there we may not wholly despise our neighbor; unmitigated contempt is always wrong, always a mistake.

 

Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7

 

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