How can anyone ever lend money to God? That sounds impossible since the Lord owns the cattle on the thousand hills and all the wealth that anyone could ever imagine. Yet the Scriptures make it clear here that when we are gracious to the poor we are leading to Jehovah. Let's take a closer look at this - and at the blessing that comes from being gracious and kind to those who are poor.
When we give to the poor we are being very wise. We are making an investment that will bless us in the end. Lending to anyone is a risky endeavor because lending wisely is based on their ability to repay us. Yet when we are gracious to the poor by giving to them, we are told that we are giving a loan to God. His ability to repay is infinite - therefore this is an investment that will pay wonderful dividends. If there were ever a sure bet when it comes to lending policy - this is it. Being gracious to the poor means showing them mercy. The idea behind this word is that we are showing a kind act to someone in need. Since this refers to the poor, the idea of gracious giving is implied. We read in 1 John that part of the love of God in us is giving to someone who has a need instead of just wishing them well and leaving them to hope for the best.
The promise here is very clear. When we are gracious in lending and giving to the poor, we will be repaid from the Lord Himself. The good deed of giving to the poor is noticed by the Lord. We are told that the man who is gracious to the poor will be happy (Prov 14:21). The one generous to the poor by giving him some of his food, God promises will be blessed (Prov 22:9). We are also told that the one who gives to the poor will never want (Prov 28:27). These are all very clear promises of God that we should take seriously when we face situations where we can either show mercy upon the poor - or close our hearts to them. The rich man in the gospels would warn us that shutting our hearts to the poor like Lazarus who sat at his gate is an act that will cost us dearly in the end. May God give us the wisdom to act on opportunities to provide for the poor. The benefits of such kindness are beyond our ability to comprehend. May we abound with such kindness and secure great blessing!