He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
This passage reminds me of my Grandfather, Ora Renfo. Grandpa was a tender and Godly man who loved me and taught me both spiritually and physically. As I think back to my days with Grandpa there are a hundred precious stories I could share with you. Today however, I want to tell you about a day that Grandpa taught me to care for the poor.
Joe and I had borrowed money from Grandpa many years ago, in our early marriage, to purchase a trailer for our trucking business. After time we decided to sell that trailer and finish paying Grandpa off the remaining amount that we owed him. Therefore, we had him go to the bank with us to finalize the transaction. While waiting, the president of the bank came out and recognized Grandpa. He asked, “Are you Ora Renfro?” My grandfather replied, “Yes, yes I am” In a few moments the man explained to Grandpa that he would never forget what he had done back in ‘such and such’ year when several farmers had their land under water. The man told me how Grandpa had come in and worked long and hard hours for people he didn’t know to help save their farms. This of course was no extraordinary situation, Grandpa was a man that helped others, that’s just who he was! As we walked out of the bank, I’ll never forget what Grandpa told me. He said, "Jeanette, I never held back from helping others when they needed the help and were willing to work along side me but, don’t confuse that with a handout. We are to help the poor but not doing it all for them.” So many times in our desire to help others we can become a “crutch” for them to not grow and do for themselves as God would have them to do. God created His people to work and we will find great joy and personal growth when we embrace the work He gives us. At the same time, it rains on the just and unjust alike and we are commanded to have compassion on the poor. When God gives something to our charge and then shows us a person in need it is only right for us to give to them.
Here in Proverbs 22 we are reminded that the bountiful eye shall be blessed when they have given some of their bread to the poor. Notice they don’t give all they have but a portion as is needed. God lays out in Scripture the guidelines for who we are to care for and how. Consider this extra reading and be challenged as you grow in His grace!!
Timothy 5:8 - The Godly are to first care for their own family
Galatians 6:10 – The Godly are to care for those in the household of Faith next
Deuteronomy 24:19 – The Godly are to care for the widows and the fatherless
Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 19:17, Proverbs 31:20 – The Godly are to care for the poor
Exodus 22: 21 – The Godly are to care for the stranger. Remembering that we too were once strangers!
However, when we help others remember that doesn’t mean we always just do it for them. Take a look at the Leviticus 25 and 26 where God reminds us that He is our landlord and we are His tenants to care for the land. He tells us to let the land rest on the seventh year and to let what grows up be gleaned by the widows, fatherless, and poor. Then what was left was to be given to the wild beast. What a caring Creator to establish and order to the giving of our bounty.
May we each be blessed as we share the bounty He has given to us. Let us always give in Jesus Name and for His Glory alone!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood