Proverbs 19:6-7 – “Many [abundant; great; powerful] will intreat [appease; make one’s face pleasant or sweet] the favour [face; countenance] of the prince [noble; generous]: and every man is a friend [companion] to him that giveth gifts. 7 All the brethren [brother; kindred; countrymen] of the poor[needy; destitute] do hate [set against; detest; despise] him: how much more do his friends [companions; confidants] go far from [far away; distance; remove; keep aloof] him? he pursueth [run after; chase]them with words [speech], yet they are wanting to him.”
It is a difficult lesson to accept—that people will embrace you when you have something they want or appreciate; however, when you are in want or need–those who were closest to you often flee from you in your hour of need. To be unconditionally loved for who we are is a deep seeded desire that only God can perfectly fulfill.
Gift-seekers come desiring tangible gifts or special favors. Because his son will one day be king, Solomon taught him that wealth is like a magnet for self-seekers. Many who appear to be friends are in love with the gifts, but not the giver of them. Lesson: Wealth, not the wealthy, has many friends.
A contrast to the wealthy who enjoy many friends, albeit shallow pseudo-friendships, are the poor who have few friends who care for their souls. What a sad commentary that the poor in need find themselves destitute of friends in their hour of need. The poor humbles himself and appeals for help, but those closest to him are deaf to his plea.
Let us not be numbered among those who care only for what others can give or do for them. Let us care for those who are weak and less fortunate, even as Christ taught His followers.
Romans 12:13-18 – “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”