Solomon brings us a proverb concerning ruling through money or sharing it with those in need. Doing what is just in this area will help both the sharer and receiver.
My bible helps puts these three verses together saying, that verse 7 and 9 are opposites of one another. They also state that verse 8 “describes the powerful man who will come to ruin” (ESV note on Proverbs 22:7-9). I wonder if verse 8 might be describing the rich who rules over the poor in verse 7. I think it is a distinct possibility that one who is rich could become rich through injustice. This isn’t to say that everyone who is rich is unjust, but there are a good many men who fit these two concepts rolled into one.
I have heard it taught by some that a Christian shouldn’t borrow money because of these verses; especially verse 7. God did not exactly say that through Solomon. What He did say was that one who borrows in bound to the one who loaned to him.
This brings to my memory the parable Jesus told about the unforgiving servant. BOTH servants were bound to the one they received their loan from and were at the mercy of the one they were in debt to. In the story, one received mercy but did NOT pass that mercy on to others. He was cruel in his behavior towards his brother. Because of his actions towards his brother, his master reinstated the debt and used the same measures this servant used against his fellow servant.
When it comes to large purchases, like a house or car, it’s hard not to borrow money. We borrow from the bank most times instead of an individual. But the same principle applies. The borrower is pledging to return what was loaned. And if he can’t, he promises to surrender the item to the bank. With a signature lone there is no property pledged, just the person’s good name. Losing that hurts MORE than losing ANY amount of property!
There are many deceitful practices in lending today. This is especially true with pawn shops and payday loans. They get you started down a path that is nearly impossible to get out of. This can even happen when you “live on the overdrafts” from your checking account. My oldest son and his ex-wife had to find this out the hard way. They were not willing to listen to anyone on the subject. It took them YEARS to get it all sorted out.
The requirement to repay the loan have to be carefully considered before agreeing to the terms. How, how often, and will you make the payments. The borrower is not free to spend his money however he chooses.
The person with the “bountiful eye” has been given much but is willing to share what he has without requiring repayment. I don’t believe God blesses one with wealth unless they do have a heart to share His gift to them with others. I am not wealthy but my husband and I often share what we receive with those who are in need. I honestly believe that is the reason He has given to us so freely.
God gave ALL of us the GREATEST gift imaginable. He could have required us to ‘purchase’ that gift by some means. He didn’t. He gave His gift of salvation to us at no charge and without requirements of repayment.
I have heard some say that we are ‘repaying’ God by our good works. That is NOT so! We could NEVER hope to pay off what it cost Him. Our ‘good works’ are the results of the change in us because of His gift. It is also our way of thanking Him for what He has done for us. It is NOT ‘bondage’ or ‘slavery’. It is an expression of our love; freely given.
Father God, THANK YOU for Your gift of Your Son, Jesus. I can NEVER hope to repay Him for what He has done for me. I’m GLAD it is not a loan and dependent on me to ‘keep up the payments’. You will NEVER rip it from my hands or ‘repossess’ it.
I pray I am putting ALL the gifts You have given me to good use. I pray I am using them to help others in need and to share Your love. Not because I’m required to but because I WANT to. ALL because of Your love and example am I able to even contemplate giving to others out of love.
Forgiveness is the gift Jesus spoke of in His parable You reminded me of today. Help me NOT be the wicked unforgiving servant. Let me forgive others the same way You forgave, and continue to forgive, me.