An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Friends and Neighbors

(Proverbs 19:4 KJV)  Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.

The NASB uses “friend” ( 7453) twice but the second time the KJV uses “neighbor”.  In the Hebrew it is the same word.  I imagine the reason the KJV used a different word was for style.  Neither translation seems to stick to a consistent English word.  I think it is important to use the same word because I think the difference is significant in both the OT and the NT.  In the New Testament I think the difference is more between “brother” and “neighbor”.  Put it with this in the Old Testament and you have three levels of relationship.  Each level has a different dynamic.

The group that demands the most out of us is the body of Christ.  They are referred to as brothers and sisters.  They are to be held closer than blood kin.  Next would be friends.  These would be those that we have established some relationship with but they don’t share the bond of Christ.  The rest of the world is neighbors.  They may live next door.  They may work in the same building.  The only bond we have with them is location. 

So?  We are to love all men and our neighbor as our self.  There are times, however, when we need to establish priorities.  We might have limited resources.  Who has first call?  I would say those in the body.  If I have enough left over after I know my brother and his family are not hungry then I can donate to community groups. 

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

lol - I'm not quite sure the path you used to get there, but I agree with your conclusion.