"Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished."
It is not for us to judge WHY the poor man is poor. All God tells us here is that we must not:
1. Mock him.
2. Be glad at his calamities.
When we see someone in poverty or who is homeless, we should not make fun or have a disdainful spirit towards him. We must remember that sin and the consequences of sin always lead a man to more misery, shame, and regret than those who enjoy the blessings of righteousness.
The poor man suffers, whether it seems that way to us or not. Need proof? Just ask yourself, "Would I like to trade places?" Though it's true that many poor men have gotten themselves into a state of poverty because of their own poor (no pun intended) choices, being in a state of poverty is still unfortunate, to say the least.
The poverty-stricken man might be where he is because of alcohol, drugs, gang activity, laziness, anger and violence, or wrong friends. Of course, it would be good to remember that not ALL those in poverty are there because of their own foolish decisions; sometimes there are legitimate hardships that befall upstanding people. Let us keep in mind also that, oftentimes, people merely follow the pattern that was set before them by their parents. In such a case, though people are indeed responsible for their actions, it would help us to be compassionate if we recognized that these people have only lived the way they were brought up; which, by the way, is probably true, to some degree, of many who are reading this now.
Again, it is difficult and unfortunate to be in poverty and calamity--even if the poverty and calamity is self-inflicted. God is the Judge--not us. People in affliction need love, mercy, and compassion just like everyone else. And the truth is, that most people in this world despise and mock the poor. May we as Christians do otherwise.
Pharisees are judgmental. Let us not follow their pattern.
Jesus was merciful. Let's follow His!
Aren't you glad that God is merciful to you, even in times when you are merely reaping the consequences you rightfully deserve?
Those who depend on food stamps, or beg at at street corner, or sleep on a park bench... are they in poverty because of their own foolish, sinful, selfish choices? Perhaps. But the next time you feel justified in mocking the poor, or in rejoicing over their calamity, think about these words:
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" (John 8:7).
May we love those whom God loves and remember:
"They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick...I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."