t's particularly powerful when God turns a requirement and an expectation into an opportunity and an adventure. Such is the case with alms. In one passage we read, "Give now!" (Proverbs 3:27-28). This is a negative and an obligatory way of teaching goodness. But, sometimes... many times, in fact... God teaches us the same lessons using positive reinforcement, "Give, and God will give to you" (Luke 6:38, Proverbs 19:17 & Mark 14:7).
Here in Psalm 41:1 we have a similar billboard (see also verses 2 & 3). God is willing to let us in on a great investment opportunity if we have the heart to get involved. The poor all around us are heaven-sent investment options available for our consideration. Of course, that's not the only perspective to consider, but it is the one at hand.
Here in our land we sometimes blame poverty on the socialistic programs which have been instituted by our federal government. And indeed, there are many cases where the entitlement programs seem to have institutionalized poverty and functionally imprisoned the poor for generations. However, Jesus taught that there would always be poor folk. Even if we could smash the very ideals of communism and socialism into smithereens, and even if we could liberate every individual who is oppressed under dictatorship in the whole wide world... there would still be poor plebeians. Equal opportunity is certainly fair and just, but it doesn't produce equal outcomes, because among humans there is diversity of drive and ability (plus the reality of the curse and of God’s sovereign plans).