“There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege works against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.” (Ecclesiastes 9:14-16)
1) Poor contribute: Poor people contribute for the welfare of the city. In the incident, the poor man was wise and contributed to the city by his wisdom. Poor not only provide physical manual labour or other skills, they contribute their knowledge and wisdom for the city.
2) Poor protect: This poor man saved the city. Their contribution is vital for the safety of the city. In the cities, the poor clean the city. Without their contribution for hygiene, the cities would be plagued with diseases and destruction.
3) Poor are neglected: Though the poor person helped to save the city, he was not remembered. There was no statue or memorial for him. Poor are easily forgotten. There are people who wish poor people would be removed from their sight. There was no recognition of the poor man’s services. There was no reward or award for the poor man while the rich, wicked, and corrupt get their memorials and museums.
4) Poor are despised: Indeed, the poor people are despised. It is not only they are ignored, but they are also despised or ridiculed. No one wants to listen to their wisdom. Their contribution is demeaned or trivialised. “The poor are disliked even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends. whoever despises his neighbour is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.” (Proverbs 14:20-21)
God has placed the poor in our midst to test us. As the poor are also created in the image of God, and Christ died for them, we should treat the poor with love and dignity.
How do I treat the poor?