Lending To The Lord

Proverbs 19:17 (KJV)

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Once in a while most of us will find ourselves in a position where we need to make a visit to a finance company, a lending agency.

The Bible cautions us about borrowing money and I would suggest that a person use financing sparingly.

But that does not mean that it is never to be used or that it is sinful.

So when you visit your local lender, he is going to ask you a series of questions.

Some of them are pretty standard — general information stuff:

· Name

· Birthdate

· Social Security

The longer you talk to him the more specific his questions will become.

They can be, frankly, fairly humiliating.

He wants to know:

· What you own

· How much you own on what you own

· How much you earn

· How much you spend

· How much you have in savings

He is going to ask for copies of your:

· Paycheck stubs,

· Bank statements and even

· Tax returns

He’s going to find out:

· How much the things you possess are worth,

· How much he can sell them for, if you were to default on the loan.

He’s going to find out:

· What your credit score is

· How frequently you have been late on paying your bills

What he is doing is determining how good of a risk you are.

· He wants to know if you can pay back the loan if he gives it to you and

· He wants to know if you will pay back the loan if he gives it to you

The Bible uses that concept when describing what happens when we, in obedience to the Lord, “have pity on the poor.”

I think I can teach this passage under three points:

*I. AN ACTION ENCOURAGED

He that hath pity upon the poor

Because of the words “lend” and “pay” I think we automatically view this passage as having to do with giving people money.

Notice that the passage doesn’t say giving money but having pity.

A financial gift might certainly be one way to have pity, but it is not the only way and many times not the best or even the Biblical way to have pity.

The word pity simply means to be gracious or kind.

A synonym would be merciful.

Some of the kinds of pity rendered in the Bible would be,

A. Giving food, clothing and water

Matthew 25:34–40 (KJV)

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Notice that even,

B. A visit to the sick or in prison would be giving pity

C. Forgiving others of their trespasses against you is a kind of giving pity

Matthew 18:23–35 (KJV)

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

The Bible does teach us, James 2:15–16 (KJV)

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

There are times when we ought to reach out materially, even times when we ought to do so knowing that our help will likely be wasted.

But we ought to be careful.

A few weeks ago I listened to an interview of a former professional baseball player who lost everything after an injury put him out of the game.

After a time of wallowing in self-pity and wasting himself in drunkenness, he got saved.

It wasn’t too long before he began reaching out to others who were hurting.

· He began a non-profit meant to help children living in poverty

· He also started trying to help the homeless in the city where he lives

He said he quickly learned that there is a certain kind of help that doesn’t help them.

In his zeal, as an example, he took this one man in,

· Cleaned him up,

· Got him dressed well, and

· Even used his influence to get the guy a job

A couple of days later the guy who hired this homeless man was on the phone chewing him out because the homeless guy had stolen from him and skipped.

He figured out the best thing he can do for them is to give them a clean shirt and a brand new pair of socks.

Some of them will respond from that in a manner that he then knows he can give them a bit more.

Let me move on to

*II. AN INSTRUCTION PRESENTED

… lendeth unto the LORD

Having pity on the poor, God says, is like lending to the Lord.

You are not lending to the poor, you are lending to the Lord.

For reasons that are beyond the scope of this lesson — and reasons I am not sure I can explain to the satisfaction of most people, God says, in both the Old and New Testament, that there will always be poor people.

The Mosaic Law is filled with provisions for their care.

Interestingly, not for ways to lift them out of their poverty, but for ways to provide their most basic needs.

Here’s the thing — God views our obedience in having pity upon the poor as a direct ministry to God himself.

· You are lending your time to the Lord

· You are lending your compassion to the Lord

· You are lending your resources to the Lord

It is the most “righteously religious” thing you can do.

James 1:27 (KJV)

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Thirdly note,

*III. A DOCTRINE PROMISED

…and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

The Bible promises, Luke 6:38 (KJV)

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

God promises to pay but it is important to remember

A. It will be repaid in kind

· A spiritual gift has a spiritual repayment

· A compassionate gift has a compassionate repayment

· A forgiving gift has a forgiving repayment

B. It will be repaid in measure

The more abundantly we give the more generous will be our repayment from the Lord.

C. It will be repaid in heaven

At least that is where we ought to want it to be paid. Anything else will just rust away on the earth.

Conclusion

The point the passage wants to make is that God is a good lending risk.

Proverbs 19:17 (KJV)

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.