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If a Man Be Poor

Scripture Passage: 
Deuteronomy 24:10-22

Introduction: God, in His instructions to Israel, takes special care for the poor.  If they will do so, it will be righteousness unto them (Deuteronomy 24:13) and they will keep it from being a sin (Deuteronomy 24:15).  Besides, Israel was a bondman in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 24:18, 22) and should treat those in similar circumstances with special care.

But this passage also shows us several characteristics of the poor.  We learn about how they look at things and how they approach life.  These insights are valuable, especially since God’s people are to be poor in spirit.

The first beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5:3 –  “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Isaiah 66:2 – “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Psalm 109:22 – “For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”

In this message, we will look at the poor man and learn from his traits.

  1. HE COUNTS NOTHING AS HIS OWN
    1. He Uses His Own Raiment as Pledge and Must Borrow it Back to Sleep (Deuteronomy 24:12-13)
    2. The Testimony of Paul (2 Corinthians 6:10 – “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”)
      1. As poor, yet making many rich; the example of Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9 – “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
      2. As having nothing, yet possessing all things
        1. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 –  “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
        2. John wrote to the church in Smyrna, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)…” – Revelation 2:9
  2. HE REJOICES IN EVERY BLESSING
    1. Even to Sleep in His Own Raiment (Deuteronomy 24:13)
    2. We Should Have This Thankful Heart: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
  3. HE SETS HIS HEART IN HOPE
    1. He Sets His Hope on Receiving His Hire (Deuteronomy 24:15)
    2. The Hope of Abraham: Romans 4:18-21 – “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
  4. HE CRIES UNTO GOD FOR HELP
    1. In His Despair, He Cries Unto God (Deuteronomy 24:15)
    2. The Cry of the Poor
      1. Psalm 34:6 – “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”
      2. Psalm 40:17 – “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”
  5. HE DEPENDS ON THE MERCY OF GOD
    1. Against Injustice (Deuteronomy 24:16-17)
    2. We Look to God as our Helper: Psalm 54:4 –  “Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul"
  6. HE REMINDS OTHERS FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
    1. As a Bondman in Egypt (Deuteronomy 24:18, 22)
    2. Out of an Horrible Pit: Psalm 40:1-3 – “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
    3. Hewn From the Rock: Isaiah 51:1 – “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.”
  7. HE LOOKS FOR THE GLEANINGS LEFT FOR HIM
    1. Gleanings to be Left for the Stranger, Fatherless, Widow (Deuteronomy 24:19-21)
    2. Ruth Received Her Handfuls of Purpose: Ruth 2:15-16 – “And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.”
    3. The Woman of Canaan Received Her Crumbs: Matthew 15:25-28 – “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

CONCLUSION: James 2:5 says, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

Are you proud and self-sufficient?  Do you no longer have need of God except in the most severe of circumstances?  We would do well to repent of our pride and ask the Lord to give us a spirit of poverty, broken and contrite before Him.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:30

He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.