From this point forward in our study of Proverbs, we’re going to skip around quite a bit, simply because that’s what the book does. It’s a lot easier if you tackle it topically instead of verse-by-verse which we’ve normally done up to this point. Since the most important thing to know from the Bible is who God is, I thought that’s the best place to start. So for the next few days we’re going to see what Solomon had to say about him.
Some of this is going to be old hat for you, since Solomon's not going to introduce us to any brand new concepts about the Lord. But the great thing about the author is that he’s always practical. I’ve always liked to think of myself as a practical theologian: If it doesn’t affect how you live from day-to-day, then why spend a lot of time on it? So whatever he says about anything—no matter how esoteric it might appear--there’s a reason for it.
So just to pick one of many verses about the Lord, let’s look at the one today. The first question to ask is: What does it say about him? What can we learn about him? And can we figure out why the author would include this information? It’s pretty straightforward—He’s the Maker of all humanity. He’s the Creator of every man, woman, and child who’s ever existed. But there’s a special emphasis he makes here: he specifically notes that the Lord has created both “rich” and “poor.”
It’s a fact of life that we tend to judge people by their spot on the economic ladder. And it’s not just in one direction: People on the lower end envy those richer than themselves. It’s a shame, but we tend not to associate with people who come from a different background than we do.
The church is supposed to be a cure for that, and I wish that it always was. Unfortunately, sometimes we let the divisions out in the world infiltrate Christ’s body, and this should not be. If it’s true that there’s “neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” then surely this would apply in the economic sphere as well. James, another really practical writer, had some things to say about this as well.
So how do we apply this in our daily life? Well, it would seem to me that any thoughts in your head that “look down” on someone--because they’re poorer than you--would be completely incompatible with the Spirit of Christ. And if someone is higher than you on the economic scale, then don’t envy them, and don't covet what they have. The Lord made them just like he made you, and the way we treat each other should reflect that.
So does it? Does the way you treat those around you reflect the fact that they’re created in God’s image? What about that person who just found a way to step on your last nerve? What about that homeless person that you’re passing on the street? What about that rich person you know who seems to have it soooo easy? All of them, each and every one, is precious in the sight of our Savior, and should be in ours as well.
Lord Jesus, it’s so easy to forget this. Please change my heart, my eyes, my ears, whatever else needs adjustment. I want to be like you.