Worldly people are always seeking the favor of those who can help them in some way. But once that person’s benefit to them is gone so are they. Vain people are always seeking the favor of those with a higher social status. But once their rank is elevated past someone they will not “condescend to men of low degree.” Devious people will give expensive gifts to those with power, while plotting to take the small amount the poor man has. And “because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.” Doesn’t it sometimes seem that we live in a world where everyone has an ulterior motive; everyone is working an angle. There is no sincere love to be found. And we almost feel we can say with Jeremiah “Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.” And by neccisity we learn to be untrusting. We can no longer accept kindness at face value because “the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” and “the kisses of an enemy are decietful.”
Self love and self interest are the rule of the day. People’s kindness to those above them is self interest, and their contempt for those below them is pride and self love. The proverb’s warning is ignored; “he who is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him out.” Not to mention “Pride coomes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
But as the heavens are higher than the earth Gods ways are also higher than man’s ways. The kindness of God is unfeigned; there are no ulterior motives. The free gift of salvation is offered to all men. The words of God are trustworthy. And if God judges it’s sure to be just. God isn’t moved by status since he is highest of all. He is not moved by wealth because he owns all things. And he says “have not I chosen the poor rich in faith.” Even at times when a rich man is saved it is no contradiction; that person has glimpsed the vastness of God, they have recognized their complete inadequesy, poverty and weakness in the precence of a holy God. We would call Job rich, and also righteous. But in God’s precense he said “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Abraham also fits the theme using some similiar words in God’s precense “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:” -Dust and ashes: that is our life without God. Like the first man, Adam, formed from the dust of the ground. Only by the breath of God man became a living soul and to this day only by God’s Spirit can he do any good.
So what is the message to the poor? Don’t be covetous. Don’t be envious. Don’t seek to exalt yourself, because “Whosoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.” Be rich in Spirit and “envy not the opressor and choose none of his ways.” Or what about to the rich? Don’t trust in riches but be charitable. Don’t be proud, because the glory of man is like the flower of the grass that quickly fades and withers away. To not oppress the poor of the earth. Like Paul said; the servant is the Lord’s freeman and the freeman is the Lord’s servant. So there is a oneness in Christ because either way all men live to him. The lessons of God are for all people, but that being said different people can also have a different set of temptations.
A message for all people is to love one another and consider Jesus as our example of that. The One that sought the good of those beneath him. Who humbled himself and became obedient to death. We have no prefrence in the church over a rich man or poor man being saved. People in the world try to gain influence over the rich and powerful; like scripture says- “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: And every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. All the brethren of the poor do hate him: How much more do his friends go far from him? He pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.”-they are trying to build an earthly kingdom, but we are building a heavenly kingdom and we realize a deeper truth; every human soul is precious in the sight of God. And any saved person has a home in heaven and will know God for all eternity.
It’s nice to come to the Bible and read about “a more excellent way” after being coonstantly surrounded by the world’s philosophy. Too remind ourselves how Jesus overcame by love, mercy and righteousness. And not the world’s advice on what brings success.