Who are the poor?
When David speaks of the poor he is not solely focused on financial means like we typically think when we say that someone is “poor.” In Hebrew that word can refer to the ideas of scrawny, unimportant, helpless, powerless, insignificant, oppressed, and dejected. Of course, it can also refer to those who don’t have sufficient financial means – and oftentimes those who lack financial resources experience these other problems.
How do we consider the poor?
And we’re challenged to consider these people. We need to think of them to the point where we take the appropriate action to alleviate some of their troubles. We need to help them in every appropriate way.
And catch that David doesn’t say “Blessed is he that tells others that they need to consider the poor.” Or “Blessed is he that votes for politicians who consider the poor… with other people’s money – rather than his own.”
Considering the poor vs. giving them money
And notice also that David is not even saying, “Give them money!” Isn’t that the American mindset – that if we throw money at problems they will eventually go away? David doesn’t even mention money here.
Why? Well, we have a man that our church is currently ministering to. And when he gets excess money – because, say, some concerned individual with the purest of motives pays his monthly rent – he just goes and squanders it on alcohol. Money doesn’t solve problems by itself. That’s why David doesn’t talk directly – and certainly not solely – about giving the poor money.
How to really consider the poor
Rather, David wants us to consider them. To think of the best possible way to help them in their particular need. That may be money. It may be investing time to teach them life skills. It might be evangelizing them. It might be letting them stay at your place. It might be standing up for them and defending them before others.
The helpless and needy could have any number of issues that they need help with. And that’s why we’re encouraged to consider how best to help them.
Selfish people don't consider the poor
And David needs to declare the blessing of this activity because the tendency of self-focused mankind is to ignore people like this. Yeah, they’re needy – but we have enough needs of our own. Or so the natural man tends to think. Sure, they’re helpless – but I myself am in need of great help! Well, you can think that – but you’re going to miss out on blessing from the Lord.
That’s what David claims. Those who consider the poor – those whose considerations lead to appropriate actions toward those who are helpless and weak – they will be blessed.