Pondering Proverbs: Les Miserables – The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Victims (Pt.4)

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” 
Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV

When a new musical movie version of Les Misérables was released in December of 2012, I made a point of seeing it on the big screen. Set in France in the 1800’s, the story is a gripping tale of an ex-convict, Jean Valjean, who finds redemption following his parole from 19 grueling and bitter years in prison. Becoming a prosperous factory owner, he spends his life as a force for good to the poor and wretched of society. The movie does an incredible job of depicting the horrible treatment the afflicted and needy endured at the hands of the wealthy upper class.  Valjean’s goodwill, however, is a poignant tribute to a life transformed by the power of God.

Valjean is a perfect example of our theme verse today. Written in the imperative, these two verses demand our attention. Inactivity is not an option. We are to speak up, stand up, and defend the rights of the deprived and poverty-stricken.

Proverbs goes on to applaud and bless those who care for the well-being of the less fortunate. Those who are gracious to the poor will be happy and blessed, as well as honored and repaid by God Himself. (Prov. 14:21, 31, 19:17, 22:9) Even a king (or anyone in leadership) who judges the poor with truth will find his throne established forever. (Prov.29:14) That’s powerful!

On the flip side, woe to those who would oppress and mock the poor or ignore their cry. To do so is to taunt God and find oneself in poverty with no one listening or caring. (Prov. 14:31, 17:5, 21:13, 22:16) To shut your eyes to the reality of the down and out will result in a life filled with curses (Prov. 28:27b) That’s scary!

As God’s beloved, I pray you will let God move your heart to always be sensitive to the needs of others, especially the underprivileged, the sick, the impoverished, the lowly. Let us strive to imitate the actions of the godly woman of Proverbs 31:20 (NIV).

            She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

[Digging Deeper – Proverbs 22:22-23, 28:27a, 29:7, and 30:14]

Willing to help,

Beverly <><



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Going the Extra Mile

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him .”
Luke 10:33-34 (NLT)

In these verses, we see the Good Samaritan not only checking on the man, but soothing his wounds, bandaging him, allowing him to ride his donkey (while he probably walked), and making sure he was well taken care of as he healed. Serving and having true compassion for others isn’t always easy and can get messy at times. We have been called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and most of the time this requires us to get our hands dirty and go the extra mile even at the expense of our own safety and comfort. Today, let’s pray that God will helps us to serve others with a humble and willing attitude no matter how far out of our comfort-zone God may lead us.



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“The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? Jesus replied with a story: ‘A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.”
Luke 10:29-33 (NLT)

ground-rescue-1552688-639x936In this passage, we are introduced to the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus uses this illustration to teach and communicate several valuable lessons that we can incorporate into our into our daily lives. First, unlike the Priest and the Temple Assistant, who chose to pass by the Jewish man in need, it is important for us to understand that we are not better than those we are serving. The Bible tells us that we have ALL sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As the parable continues, we read that the “despised Samaritan” felt compassion for the man and did what he could to help him. As Christians, our hearts should be full of compassion for those in need, and it is our responsibility as the hands and feet of Christ to serve them as the Holy Spirit leads.

Today, pray that God would give us compassion for those we are serving, and ask Him to break our hearts over the things that break His. Then pray that He would use us like the Good Samaritan to help those who are hurting, lost, and in need.




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