The Curse of ...
Wednesday - October 28th
Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 28:1-28
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, many local TV stations around the country scheduled a late-night feature movie for the time after the local news broadcast. They used very few popular movies. Instead, they showed quite a few low-budget B movies. Often the late hour and the low-budget type of film meant they ran cheesy horror movies.
Some stations focused on the horror theme one or two nights a week and utilized an in-studio host. The host often had a campy sort of horror theme to their persona. Elvira mistress of the night, Count Dracula, or a mad scientist were popular images for the late-night slot with low viewer numbers.
More often than not, the movie shown had a title that began with the words, "The Curse of The...." They ended up showing movies with titles such as "The Curse of the Pharaoh’s Tomb," "The Curse of the Headless Bride," or "The Curse of the Forgotten Graveyard." As long as you start with "The Curse of..." you probably can't create a movie title that wasn't shown on local television late at night at some point.
Of course, during the week leading up to Halloween, these stations went crazy with the cheap horror flicks. Yesterday, I ran across an article that could have easily fit into some seasonal Halloween late-night movie. It reeked with a cheesy, low-budget, B-movie vibe. But it was an actual, scientific horror story. Here is the summary description tweeted out to describe the article: "Russian scientists defrosted several prehistoric worms, and two woke up. After thawing, the two worms began to move and eat. One is 32,000 years old, and the other 41,700 years old."
Can't you see the creepy lettering on your television late at night as part of the double feature? "The Curse of the Prehistoric Worms!"
Superstitions and fables provide fodder regarding all kinds of curses. But, God's Word talks about curses as a part of God's judgment on wayward people. Nothing phony, fake, or cheesy about a curse God places on people who choose to live in violation of His commands.
Proverbs 28:27 describes a curse that impacts the lives of those who ignore the poor and needy. The proverb says, "Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses." Notice if you ignore poor people's needs, you get more than one curse - you will receive "many curses." That can't be good!
God's heart aches for those who suffer. He has compassion for those in need of the basics of life. Poor people move the heart of God. Their need should move the heart of God's people too. Often God wants to use us in the lives of those who do not have as much as we have. He wants us to be a river of blessing to others rather than a reservoir holding all of His blessings for ourselves.
Notice both the promise and the curse of the proverb. It says those who notice a person in need, are moved with compassion, and give generously to help meet the need will lack nothing. God will bless them. They will lack nothing.
But, those who "close their eyes" to the poor will "receive many curses." God will not protect those who are stingy. He will not provide for those who turn their backs on the needy around them.
Are your eyes open to the needs of the poor? Are you generous in your giving to them? If so, your life will lack nothing. Beyond the material things of this world, God provides a deep sense of meaning and satisfaction when we extend His blessing in our lives to others.
Have your eyes been closed to the poor? Are you stingy? Do you condemn them for their lack of skill, ingenuity, or resourcefulness in not helping themselves? Do you withhold any grace toward them because you hold them in disdain for their very poverty? If so, you will receive many uncomfortable and unsatisfying curses in your life.
Maybe a cheap late-night movie about a terrifying curse doesn't relate to your life. But giving to those in need should!