I’m not going to try and explain the theology of the writer of Proverbs, I’ll just report what was written and then we can all deal with it in our lives.
If you close your ear to the cry of the poor,
you will cry out and not be heard.
It seems like conditional hearing on God’s part, if the one who is hearing or not hearing us is intended to be God. Theologically, I hope that God doesn’t only listen to us when we are being good. When I’m the most disobedient and then repent, is when I most need to be heard.
But maybe, this is a holy reflection on the everyday lives we live. Maybe we are the ones who should be encouraged to listen to the poor around us, so that other people might be inclined to be compassionate and sympathetic toward us. In this case, rather than getting a negative feeling toward God for listening or not, we will listen to the poor because we have been told to.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you …
Treat everyone as a child of God ……
In this case, I can show sympathy and empathy toward even the least of those I encounter, and having been modelled, that behavior might just come back to me.
Regardless of what we do with this Proverb, it says that we should keep our ears open to the cries of the poor. God says so.
Dear God, let me open my ears and try to hear everyone as You might hear them. Amen.