Proverbs 13:8, The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
I suppose the most famous kidnapping that I know something about is the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's son that took place in 1932.
The kidnapping resulted in the murder of a helpless 20 month old baby boy.
This crime was called the crime of the century and it caught the attention of all America.
It was the O. J. Simpson case of the 30's.
After one of the most sensational trials of the century, a carpenter, Bruno Hauptmann, was convicted of the crime and executed.
Charles Lindbergh was an American hero of the time because he was the first man to fly the Atlantic Ocean from continent to continent all by himself.
He captured the world's imagination, was revered and entered into the power structure of the world.
Songs were written about him and babies named after him.
He enjoyed great success and became a rich man from his exploits.
But his riches did not shield him from the problems of the rich and famous.
Had Lindbergh remained a simple unknown man would anyone consider kidnapping and murdering his son? Of course not!
His son's death was directly connected with his fame and fortune.
This proverb reminds us that along with riches comes some things that are never a concern with the poor.
The message here is that with riches comes a whole new set of problems.
The message here is that this is a world where problems are the norm and whether you are rich or whether you are poor you will have problems.
Riches do not spare us from problems.
The problems are the constant. The type of problem is the variation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Ah! if the rich were rich as the poor fancy riches!
Rich men are the persons whose houses are broken into by thieves.
The poor man's house offers little to invite the robber.
Rich men are accosted on the street and their money is demanded.
The poor with his empty pockets may travel securely.
Rich men are many times subject to false accusations, slander and extortion.
No one pays attention to the poor man. Not worth slandering.
Rich men's properties are coveted and often lost.
The poor man does not have properties to covet or lose.
The rich must make much effort to invest their riches properly.
They take much time to continue their riches in order to maintain the standard of living to which they have become accustomed.
Few rich men own their property. The property owns them.
But the poor man has no property or high standard of living to maintain.
His time is not spent worrying about carrying for his possessions.
Proverbs 18:23, tells us that riches corrupt good manners: The poor useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
The poor cannot afford to run roughshod over people.
Humility may come easier to the poor whereas humility is difficult to the rich.
And Proverbs 14:20, reminds us that: the rich hath many friends.
But why is this? Are these friends purchased?
Perhaps the poor have more honest relationships than the rich.
Perhaps the friends of the rich tend to be friends on the basis of their riches.
A poor man's friends may more often be a true friend.
We know that riches are not in the equation.
Benjamin Franklin said in his Almanac: Now I've a sheep and a cow, everybody bids me good-morrow.
And the rich are subject to being kidnapped for ransom.
They will gladly lose all of their riches if it will save their lives.
In fact perhaps their riches were given to them only to be consumed for their ransom. Only to be used to save their life.
But what fool would seek ransom for the poor?
And the Lord tells us that a rich man can hardly enter into the kingdom of God. He does not say this about a poor man.
And lastly it has been said that rich men never whistle, poor men always do!
And this proverb tells us: But the poor heareth not rebuke!
They are beneath the notice of the mighty. They are background people.
They escape many dangers not escaped by their richer neighbors.
If the rich man's wealth is his strong city then the poor man's poverty is often his safety.
The lack of wealth or noticeable assets on the part of the poor is a shield under which the poor are protected from those who wish to cause them harm.
They have nothing of value to attract mean men.
We read in: 2 Kings 24:14, And he (the king of Babylon) carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
2 Kings 25:11,12, Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Neb-uz-ara-dan the captain of the guard carry away. But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.
The message of this proverb is that of Proverbs 22:2, The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
We ought not to desire to be rich, we ought not to desire to be poor.
God made the rich and the poor for a reason and we are not to oppose that reason.
God has made both for his purposes. He does not engage in a war on poverty.
He said that the poor you will have with you always.
There is a reason for that in the mind of God.
He has given me so much and he has given you so much.
You may have more and I may have less.
He has placed you in the circumstances that you are in.
We are told in this proverb that the rich have problems that the poor don't understand and that the poor have benefits also.
It is not all glory to have money and we are not to covet money if we do not have it.
It is not all misery to be poor either. We are not to imagine a vain thing.
Hebrews 13:5, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Timothy 6:8, And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Philippians 4:11, Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Proverbs 30:8, Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (portioned) for me: