Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverb 19:17)
Now there is a proverb! Let’s break this down:
- Whoever is generous - That word “whoever” is inclusive of a lot of people. “Whoever” would include people of every race, color, and creed. It would consist of people of any social status. It would include people with any occupation or with no occupation at all. “Whoever” has rich people and poor people as well. It covers people who are alive and even those who are dead! The word used is “whoever,” and it includes all of us!
- Generous to the poor - Generous is defined as being kind to others. It can be further amplified as giving more than is strictly necessary. So being generous is simply showing kindness that goes beyond what is strictly required.
- Lends to the Lord - This is an interesting term in this context or any context, for that matter. Get this - to lend means to grant the use of something with the understanding that it will be returned. It sounds sacrilegious to state that anyone lends to the Lord. But that is what this proverb says. Lenders provide loans.
This scripture states that whoever shows kindness to those in need loans to God with the understanding that it will be paid back, AND that God, Himself, will repay the lender for the generous deed.
Now, before we go too far here, let’s clearly understand that God is in debt to no human unless He wants to be. In other words, God owes nobody nothing except when He chooses to owe something to whoever! You see, the proverb describes a circumstance or a condition connected to a set of events to which God is agreeable. When we give generously to those in need, Almighty God puts Himself in debt to repay the giver for the deed done.
Does God have to do this? Absolutely not! God has no obligation to repay us for generous acts. But the absolutely marvelous thing is that He wants to! God enjoys the opportunity to repay givers. It is almost unimaginable that the Creator of the universe would do such a thing. But it is just like God to do something so outrageous that we can’t imagine it to be true!
Our God is so amazing!