Proverbs 28:3

from
An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs
by
Charles Bridges

"A poor man who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain which leaves no food."

Unrestrained power is often an engine of oppression--never more so than when in the grasp of the poor. Place an unprincipled spendthrift in power, and he is a destructive flood in his sphere, greedily serving every advantage by oppression to redeem his substance. A poor man suddenly raised to power, instead of sympathizing with grievances familiar to his former recollection, is usually preeminently distinguished by selfishness. Only a fool will admire the splendor of his power, reckless of the mischief that it is spreading all around.

Esther, when raised to a throne from an obscure station, was well reminded to use her power for God, because some great work was surely intended by the remarkable Providence. But a base mind becomes more corrupt from a hasty elevation. This man's necessities inflame his desires; and being without a spark of generous humanity, he is only bent upon improving his uncertain opportunities for selfish aggrandizement. Some of the rulers in the French Revolution were raised from the lowest ranks. And their oppression was indeed a sweeping rain, leaving no food in fertile districts.

Cheering is the contrast of Him, once poor himself by his voluntary abasement, now raised to honor and glory, and yet pitying, not ashamed of, his poor brethren. Truly his administration is not the sweeping rain of desolation, but "the rain upon the mown grass," rich in mercy. "For he will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. . . . He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight" (Ps. 72:12,14).

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