“He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.”
“Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.” – NIV
Pitying the Fool
When I was growing up in the 1980’s, my family and I loved to watch The “A” Team on television. Each week we would look forward to how a group of former Green Berets would battle bad guys, firing thousands of rounds of ammunition and wrecking multiple vehicles, all without ever killing a single person.
One of the most lovable characters on the program was Mr. T. He was a large, tough, black man with a mohawk haircut and enough gold necklaces to finance a small army. Any time he was challenged, his famous catchphrase was, “I pity the fool!”
Today’s proverb, however, describes how a hero will one day come along and avenge the ones who have been taken advantage of by the rich. The hero will have pity on the “poor,” not the loan shark.
Pitying the Poor
There are many that claim to be doing the poor a favor by loaning them money. Yet, once the money is loaned, the rich take advantage of the situation, binding the poor to an even greater debt. If there is a warning to be had, Solomon makes it clear that God does not approve of taking advantage of the poor, especially by inflicting unreasonable interest rates and fees.
I wonder, then, what Solomon would have to say about places that offer payday/advances? What would he think of locking the poor into 300+% interest rates? Those who offer these “services” should be very careful, for one day their profits may end up in the hands of a “Mr. T” who pities the poor.
- Oppressing the Poor (proverbialthought.com)
- Usury: hard to define, but we know it when we see it (caracaschronicles.com)