We have come to our last observation of the primary Beatitude, blessed are the poor.
- We observed the phrase and its two-fold nature in the promise.
- We investigated the physical aspect of that promise and saw how poverty is not solved by money.
- Now we need to look at the spiritual, or pious, aspect of the promise.
The idea that spirituality is somehow measured by finances is not new. As far back as Cain, persons have assumed the fruit of their labour was what God wanted.
It is true that God established a tithe of first fruits, but the Lord is not concerned with receiving the sacrifices as much as He is interested in the heart of the one giving.
Compare the following Old Testament and New Testament texts to see this point.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.Psalms 51:17
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.2 Corinthians 9:7
Proud persons err in their thinking when they presume an increase of possessions is proof that they are spiritual.
It is honour, not pride, that upholds the poor in spirit (Proverbs 29:23). The better person is the one humble enough to give up possessions for the sake of Christ (Proverbs 16:19). Money is not what God requires. He asks for your heart to be of a good spirit (Isaiah 66:2).
God owns Creation. He doesn’t need our wealth. We are stewards, not owners of creation.
And that is why God chose the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him (James 2:5).
It is to the poor Christ opened His earthly ministry with the words: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18).
It should be no surprise the first promise of future blessing is an inner quality of poverty – not poverty of possessions or finances; but a poverty of pride. Pride is a spirit of rebellion. God’s blessing is on the spirit of humility.