Plight of the Poor

A Call to Pity; A Call to Compassion

18k1rnfhm63tvjpg(not my photo)

<Pit·y

[pit-ee]

— noun, plural pit·ies.

1. sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy: to feel pity for a starving child.>

[Definition according to Dictionary.com.]

This definition perfectly describes and captures this word. Pity. What does it mean to have pity? The Bible describes God as pitiful (or full of pity):

(James 5:11)

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

(KJV)

We that are His know this to be true. We know of the pity of God. How He loves us and is merciful toward us. We know this very intimately and we are grateful! Yet there is something that we often do not consider: that the Bible also commands us to be pitiful—

(1Peter 3:8-9)

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing:but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

(KJV)

Now, this particular verse is speaking more concerning forgiveness for wrongs done to us. But I want to focus more on the compassion side of it. Pity for the suffering. Do we, who are being made slowly more and more into the image and glory of God, follow His example of pity? Do we pity the poor, the fatherless, the suffering, the rejected, the starving, the destitute? Do we pity and care for those in need? You know, the Bible speaks much about God being the defender of the poor:

(Psalm 12:5)

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,

now will I arise, saith the Lord;

I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

(KJV)

(Psalm 14:6)

Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor,

because the Lord is his refuge.

(KJV)

(Psalm 69:33)

For the Lord heareth the poor,

and despiseth not his prisoners.

(KJV)

(Psalm 72:12-14)

For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth;

the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

He shall spare the poor and needy,

and shall save the souls of the needy.

He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence:

and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

(KJV)

(Psalm 140:12)

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted,

and the right of the poor.

(KJV)

(Psalm 9:18)

For the needy shall not alway be forgotten:

the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 23:10-11)

Remove not the old landmark;

and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

For their redeemer is mighty;

he shall plead their cause with thee.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 22:22-23)

Rob not the poor, because he is poor:

neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

For the Lord will plead their cause,

and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

(KJV)

Matter of fact, one of the primary purposes of God’s command to Israel to rest every seven years was so that the poor may be provided for:

(Exodus 23:11)

But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat:and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

(KJV)

See, our Lord Jesus knows the pain of the poor. He himself became poor and endured such horrid suffering. In one of the prophecies of His death, this picture is clearly painted for us:

(Psalm 69:20)

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:

and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none;

and for comforters, but I found none.

(KJV)

Yeshua Himself wept and mourned. He Himself took on the form of man (already such a far fall from His riches in glory!), but not just a man—a poor man. A carpenter’s son. He Himself—the Lord of the universe—experienced the overwhelming trials of poverty and the pain or the lack of pity taken on the poor.

Seeing that He suffered so in poverty and that He sees the poor in their suffering, one can understand why God would have such a heavy heart for them. But He has chosen His people as the tool to provide for the poor. Now, one might think this a burden. But think. God could very easily provide for them Himself. So why doesn’t He? Why does He chose to use us? Get this: we get rewards for the good we do to them! And not just that! We get spiritual blessings and joys from it! We are taught many a spiritual lesson through them (such as humility, sincerity, temprance, faith, etc.) and find our deepest dependance on God when we are with the poor. God wants to use us so that He may bless us! It is part of His ultimate love toward us!

So, do we take pity on the poor?

I can’t help but say, “No.” on behalf of my people. My dearest friends, I look around just my bedroom (preoccupied by a sixteen-year-old girl alone) and want to weep. So cluttered that it’s hard to keep it clean, it is full of mostly junk I hardly use. And I look at myself in the mirror and want to puke. I gorge myself daily and laugh with my congregation members about how much I overeat. But this is no joke to the Lord. While we are busy hoarding it all to ourselves and working to get even more, every ~3.6 seconds someone in the world dies of hunger. Stop for a moment and take in the reality of that. It has probably taken you about 5 minutes (and that’s for the faster readers) to have read this much if this article. By the previous statistic, ~83 people died of starvation while you were reading this…………..Does anyone else notice a problem? Meanwhile, I eat enough in one meal to support an orphaned child through Holt International* for two or three days’ worth of meals! This is no joke. God takes this very seriously. Firstly, overeating is a sin (a sin of excessiveness; Philippians 4:5). Secondly, it does not just affect you. It kills other people. And considering it is done willfully, it could be considered murder to God. I don’t know. But I do know this: God takes it seriously. How much jewelry do you own? How many sodas do you drink in a day? How many concerts or expensive restaurants do you go to? How many cars do you have? And don’t think that I exclude myself in this. But this has torn me up over the past year. I cannot stop thinking about it. I no longer can laugh at overeating. I can no longer push it off like it’s nothing. For the first time in my life, surrounded by a culture that overlooks it almost completely, I am beginning to see the heart of my Lord, my Love, in this matter. And it hurts. I started noticing the passages I had simply overlooked before. And for those who will hear it, read a portion of what Scripture has to say about this (because this is by no means all of them. Simply the more promenent ones.):

(Proverbs 21:13)

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor,

he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 21:21)

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy

findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 21:26)

He [the slothful] coveteth greedily all the day long:

but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

(KJV)

(1John 3:17-18)

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

(KJV)

(James 2:14-20)

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

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?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:the devils also believe, and tremble.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

(KJV)

(Proverbs 28:27)

He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack:

but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 29:7)

The righteous considereth the cause of the poor:

but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 11:17)

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul:

but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 14:20-21)

The poor is hated even of his own neighbour:

but the rich hath many friends.

He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth:

but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 14:31)

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker:

but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 19:17)

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord;

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

(KJV)

(Psalm 10:2)

The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor:

let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

(KJV)

(Psalm 41:1)

Blessed is he that considereth the poor:

the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

(KJV)

(Psalm 82:3-4)

Defend the poor and fatherless:

do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy:

rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

(KJV)

(Proverbs 22:9)

He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed;

for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

(KJV)

O my dearest, dearest sisters and brothers in Christ, how often do we misrepresent our God by the lack of pity we take on the poor! This article today is a call, a call to all those who will hear, a call to band together in unity, love, pity, and compassion! This is a call to obedience to our overwhelmingly loving and pitiful Lord! Will you please join me in an effort to free the poor from not simply their physical suffering, but also their spiritual bondage? Will you not stand up for what the Lord has commanded? Will we not change the world by such a call to compassion? All the skeptics, all the critics, what will they have to say to such a thing? For long years they have rejected our God because of our lack of love. Will you not stand with me to win back the name of Jehovah? Will you not stand with me to show the world who our God, Yaweh, truly is? Not that He needs us, but that He delights in using us for His glory. So let us then stand. Let us then answer to the call of the poor, “Yaweh reigns and cares. Here He is, living in and through each and every one of His people.” Give the world the so desperately needed light. Give them the hope that they are thirsting for. Give them Jesus.

In a last closing, I want to share with you a poem that I wrote a little while back. I truly believe it was given me. It is from the perspective of a poor widowed woman. In a time of emotional distress over the poverty of people worldwide, I could not sleep. It was a quiet night. I had just watched a movie about orphans in India. I was grieved. I could find no rest. For the first time ever in my life, reality had clutched my heart and soul. In a fit of weeping and mourning and praying, the words of this poem came to me. I quickly wrote them down. Though it may not be perfect rhyme or rythem, I pray that it touches your heart as much as it did mine that night and ever since. Thank you.

~~~Proverbs 28:27~~~

—————————-

Please don’t pass me by!

Please just take a look!

I may be dirty on the outside,

But please don’t judge my book!

Well, the truth is:

My soul is dirty, too.

But, to be honest,

It’s only ‘cuz of you.

You wouldn’t listen when I cried.

You’d just walk away.

Rather than give something up,

You’d have me face another day!

I am hungry; I am poor.

I know you have what I need.

Still, you just pass me by.

You simply refuse to heed!

Forget your God and your money!

You never cared for me!

If your God is so wonderful,

Why don’t you hear my plea?

You live in excess that I disgust!

Yet, I truly wish to be

In your position, in your place,

Caring only for me…

Still, you send SOMETHING my way.

I will grant you that.

But what did THAT accomplish?

You’re still getting fat!

Meanwhile, I watch the days go by,

Just hoping I’ll see another.

I never know when I will die.

Maybe first ’twill be my brother.

Or perhaps ’twill be my baby boy,

Or my daughter as she’s raped.

You watched, didn’t stop it.

You just sat and gaped!

Oh, hear, rich American Church!

Hear this fleeting word!

Justice is always done,

As you well know and have heard.

If this dirty shell hangs over fire,

And this you surely believe,

Then why don’t you do something?

‘Tis less than you can achieve!

Reason has it, you can see,

That I won’t listen to you

Until you’ve shown me some proof

Of what you say to be true.

Don’t you dare talk of MY sin!

You don’t follow your OWN religion!

You don’t stretch out your soul to the hungry!

You don’t take the homeless in!

No, I shan’t hear your Bible!

Not ’til I’ve seen your “light”,

Not ’til I see this Lord, through YOU,

For whom you verbally fight!

‘Tis all you do, you bloody souls:

Write papers and boycot things!

Show me your “pure and undefiled religion”

And what you know that brings!

Instead you mock and spit your dirty lies.

Don’t tell me “I can’t afford”!

Look at my baby whose starving to death

And give me that bloody sword!

Truly selfish are you all!

Your “sinners” treat me as well as you do!

Even THEY give to charities

And throw me a dollar or two!

The day you die, I hope you find

In the life that you now live

Some satisfaction and well done

In what you didn’t give!

Sadly still, I must confess,

Though if you hear these stabs,

You shall not change, still passing by,

Though your toe still lightly dabs.

Truth all be told, in what you do,

Your fate you surely bind!

Your kids shall waste, and you shall see

The price for being blind!

——————————————–

(Not my photo)

(Not my photo)

*Holt International: http://www.holtintl.org

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8 thoughts on “A Call to Pity; A Call to Compassion

  1. Sanae.T says:

    Sharing and having interest may be what we should do for this problem.We sometimes complain about our lives forgetting what we received.Many Christians are working for this problem,but at the same time other believers(including me) do not act much about this.Sharing.Without it,we cannot love.I was struck by your seriousness and honesty in this article.Thank you for making me think over this important issue again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dearest Sanae-san,

      Thank you for your comment. I try hard to keep this in focus. It is hard because I am so spoiled here in America. But may God forgive me and help me to live more like Jesus, who spent His whole life having compassion and making a difference! It is encouraging to see that my article has touched at least someone’s heart. I could not rest until this was out there…

      Your little sister,
      Kay-chan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Kegan,
    Hi, Kay-chan. Sanae strongly encouraged me to read your latest article when I came back,,and oh, she was right! Thank you for writing straightly.It is so courageous of you to point out that “overeating is a sin”. I confess to you that my heart is so cold toward poor people in the world. My egoistic mind don’t want to face the harsh reality of the hunger issue.

    From last year, I have been translating the newsletters of one Christian ministry which is helping the poor people in Honduras. However, I have forgotten to do it for the past two months. (http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Honduras-newsletter-2014-05.html). While reading your post, God reminded me of it and I decided to do it as soon as possible. Kegan, I deeply appreciate your message. It literally moved me to “do” something.

    with tons of thanks and love,
    Kinuko

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Kinuko-san,

      Glad to have you back! 🙂

      Sanae-san is always so supportive! I’m sure many of my Japan viewers are because of her influence. 😉

      Oh, Kinuko-san! How you touch my heart so deeply! I am so happy to know that my article moved you to action. I have been trying to make firm changes in the way I handle any money I get. But I think the best I can do is to write articles and things about it so that those who can really do something might be moved to action…I have been reading about the poor in the Bible and God says many times that He will not let those that pity the poor to lack anything. And He will return whatever the man gave again. Isn’t that amazing? I’ve also been reading about George Müller’s life. It is fascinating and inspiring! How amazing our God is! I am so happy to follow Him….

      Your little sister,
      Kay-chan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Kay-chan,
        Thank you for your reply. Yes, Sanae san is so faithful and supportive. She is a woman of God. indeed. How I was delighted to see her face to face!

        Thanks to your article, I could finish the translation of the Honduras newsletters today. Thank you, Kegan!

        Kay-chan, which book are you reading (about the life of George Muller)? Please let me know if you can.

        In Christ,
        Kinuko

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Kinuko-san,

        I am so happy to know that you finished the translation! And it is always a delight to my soul to know that my article has impacted you! Thank God….

        It is from the “Heroes of the Faith” series. This particular book is called “George Müller: Man of Faith”. It is by Bonnie Harvey. My baby brother and I are also going through one in his school. It is from the “Christian Heroes: Then & Now” series. It is called “George Müller: The Gaurdian of Bristol’s Orphans”. It is by Janet & Geoff Benge.

        Your little sister,
        Kay-chan

        Like

  3. Kegan,what a great post. I am myself guilty of it–not doing enough. I know this does not pertain to feeding poor but I wanted to share that anyway. There is a young Christian man in our church. He is travelling back to Africa in August. So he set up a box in the church lobby to collect old glasses. The box have been in the lobby for a few weeks. Guess what, there are only two pairs of glasses. One of them is mine or was mine. Or church is pretty small, but we have a lot of people who wear glasses. I find its hard to believe that nobody else has a pair.
    Sorry for ranting. I just feel a bit appalled that so many people spend time studying the Word but not doing what they should.
    Your older sister,
    Irina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Sister Irina,

      I feel your pain. I have experienced similar experiences in my own congregation. I know that i myself do not give enough. But i have determined to do better. Unfortunately, i do not get money that often. I get so frustrated when i see people with so much who give so little while I, who wants to give so much, have so little. I sometimes beg God to give to me so that I can give to others. I want so badly to get a job for this reason. But God has not opened either door. It is sad to me sometimes, but I know God has a plan. I will be judged for what I do with what little I am given, not for what little they do with the much that they are given. The only thing I can do for now is spread the Word, so that those who have much can give more. May God bless both of our bounty, so that we may give the more! And may He bless our hearts with grace and love to not judge other people. Have a blessed day/weekend!

      Your little sister,
      Kegan Cook

      Like

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