Proverbs 29:4 By justice a king gives stability to the land, but one who makes heavy exactions ruins it… 13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common: the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
There are a number of verses in Proverbs 29 that give warning to people in authority who abuse their power, who neglect the poor, or who place heavy burdens on their subjects. Verse 4 above is an example. A king who takes too much from his subjects (makes heavy exactions) ruins the very kingdom he’s trying to support. There is wisdom in knowing how much to take without taking too much.
Then there are the poor who struggle in life. According to the theology of the day there was a connection between poverty and sinfulness. That meant, at least in part, poverty and suffering were thought to be consequences of one’s own actions.
However for both the ruler and the poor person there is a word of hope “the Lord gives light to the eyes of both”. There is hope for people on opposite ends of the social order with the king at the top and the poor one at the bottom. Neither need live in darkness.
I mentioned yesterday that I’m bringing focus to my own spiritual disciplines and healthy practices, which have been lacking for a couple of months now. I only really started this Monday, but I’m already feeling the effects in my body and spirit – in a good way. The ways of God give light and life and vitality. I’m fully aware of this fact, yet I too often fall away anyway. Lord have mercy.
Heavenly Father, you promise light to those of us who walk in darkness. Bring us back into your fold when we stray. Amen.