Insulting God

Reading the Word

Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 17:5, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

Caring for the poor, the less fortunate, and the vulnerable is mentioned in many places throughout Scripture. Unfortunately, we can often develop a mentality where we look down on those who are struggling and believe ourselves to be better. We jump to blame others for their circumstances and take credit for our own successes, not admitting that circumstances can be outside of our control. A person may be poor, not due to laziness, but due to a long chain of poverty that is hard to break. A person may struggle due to a physical or mental illness. And we may have reached success, not because of our hard work and greater abilities, but simply because we were graced with opportunities others did not have.

When we look down on others with hard hearts and the mindset that they got what they deserved, we insult God. Why is this the case? Because all people are created in the image of their Creator, even the poor and vulnerable. We must not think of ourselves as better, but we must look for ways to care for others and help them thrive as our God intended.


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Oppressing the Poor

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page to follow along each day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Proverbs 14:31 (ESV)
31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.


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No, They Are Not Inferior

Genesis 127 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Luke 8:1–3 (ESV)

1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, we are told of those who were with Jesus as he traveled and preached. His constant followers included the twelve disciples and three women: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. There were also “many others”, but Luke draws our attention to these three women.

In Jesus’ day, women were thought of as second-class citizens in many ways. Other rabbis often refused to teach women because they were thought to be inferior. Jesus turns the social mindset on its head by not only ministering to these women, but also allowing them to travel with him. They were not considered of secondary nature to Jesus. They were valued and were very important to him. In fact, we are told that they helped support Jesus “out of their means.” They were financial support for him. We also notice that the three women mentioned were from greatly different social backgrounds. Mary Magdalene was likely poor or had very little while Joanna is said to be the wife of Chuza, King Herod’s household manager. We are not told about Susanna’s background.

Jesus’ ministry was shocking for many reasons. It confronted many of the accepted norms of the day. One of the more important things that Jesus made clear is that God loves all people and views them all as equally valuable. It does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, male or female. Scripture tells us that all people are created in the image of God and are loved and cherished by him (Genesis 1:27; John 3:16). Jesus offended many because he loved all people, regardless of background. We are called to show the same love even today.

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