Saturday, February 9, 2013

Proverbs 31:20 - "she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy"

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Proverbs 31:20 - "she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy"

Ti's the season for Giving...and the perfect time to meditate over the scripture about charity.

I have always loved to give back to the community.  Although I have never worked in a soup kitchen.  I have had several jobs in nursing homes and been involved with church or community organizations that made sure to take care of the poor and needy on a regular basis.  My parents also raised us with a sense of duty and community and still to this day my father does Meals on Wheels.  One Christmas in particular my 10 year old son was quite disappointed that we were going to spend the morning of Christmas Eve delivering meals to the elderly.  He reluctantly came along but as we left each house his mood brightened.

The shut in's were so happy to see us, to shaky our hands and to see my small children s smiling faces.  They loved to touch their soft smiling cheeks and chubby hands.

Please remember to allow yourself and your loved ones the pleasure and honor of serving others.  You get so much more back in return.  It is SOO much better to give than receive.  My son has grown into a mature, generous, kind, and loving young man who understands that giving is an honor and it feels really good!

Side Note:  I had meant to publish this post at the beginning of Dec...goes to show you that 2012 was a crazy year for me.  I did find time to give.  Free career counseling, resume reviews, or health coaching for individuals with no insurance.  I always enjoy this time with the individual I am able to help because they are so grateful and I feel like I have contributed something positive to society.  You may not be one for working in a soup kitchen but maybe you can offer your services to the community in other ways.  I can promise that you will never regret this time you give because you get it all back 10 fold!  

I encourage you continue your study with the Middletown Church series on the Proverbs 31 woman.

Kisses and Hugs, 

Proverbs 31:20

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Compare an earlier verse in the same Proverb:  "Plead the cause of the poor and needy" (verse 9).

Verse 20 is an example of parallelism that is found so often in Hebrew poetry. In these two phrases parallel ideas are set forth, with the second phrase saying basically the same thing as the first phrase, with only minor variations.  Both phrases emphasize the fact that the virtuous woman has compassion toward the poor and needy and she shows her compassion with concrete deeds of mercy.  She loves the poor, not in word or in tongue only, but also in deed and in truth (1 John 3:16-18).   

The word "poor" means "afflicted, humble."   It is used of those who are physically and materially poor as in Proverbs 31:20, and it is also used of believers who recognize their spiritual poverty and bankruptcy ("I am poor and needy"--see Psalm 40:17; 70:5; 109:22; 34:6).  No one can make progress in his spiritual life until he realizes how desperately needy he really is, and recognizes that only the Lord can supply that which is needed.   

God's people are to have a heart of compassion for those who are physically and materially poor and needy.  In the law, God told the Israelites that the gleanings from their vineyards and fields should be left for the poor of the land (Lev. 19:10; 23:22). The godly woman of Proverbs 31 faithfully obeyed the following command: "For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." (Deut. 15:11).  Early in Proverbs 31, believers are encouraged to plead the cause of the poor (verse 9).   In Proverbs 14:21 a benediction is pronounced upon those who show compassion to the poor and help them: "He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he." 

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