Proverbs 17:5

Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

This is a sober warning for us all. First, we should not be quick to mock anyone. Mocking may have its place, but such times are far fewer than we tend to think. We are quick to mock those whom we do not know and those with whom we differ. As Christians we should be distinguished by the respect we accord even to our opponents. And yet in matters such as politics or social issues, we mock, exaggerate, and misrepresent them. We rejoice over their calamities and are quick to believe the worse in them. This should not be. Our opponents should be surprised by the love and respect we show them.

This proverb specifically speaks of mocking the poor. Such sin is made worse when directed towards those in worse circumstances. “Ah,” you might say, “but so many are in dire straights because of their own sinful behavior.” Do you think we are any different? What do you have that you have not received from your gracious Maker? Would you dare pray to God, “Thank you that I am not like my poor neighbor; I make better decisions”?

How can we mock the poor, we who have nothing to bring to our Maker to pay for our sins? The poor represent outwardly our condition inwardly. Far from mocking the poor, they should serve as reminders to us how merciful is our Maker who did not mock us, but grieved for us and won us to him. How can we mock the poor when our Lord became poor for our sakes, who, indeed, endured mocking by his enemies that we might receive crowns of glory. Let mocking cease.

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