There are many inequities in this world. One of them is the difference between the rich and the poor. These differences can drive people to the point of revolution and violence. There are entire political and economic ideologies formulated to try to bring some kind of balance to this situation. They want to create an equity between men that is enforced. But these ideologies will never work because of the fallen state of man.
Communism was one of these ideologies that tried to bring equity among men. The problem was that while communism sounded good to many in theory - in the end it only bred a ruling class of rich oligarchs and a class of serfs who did the work of the state in a common poverty. If it were possible for sinful man to mutually share all things - including the work to produce them - we might be able to create a paradise here on earth. As long as the fallen, sinful state of man continues though - all these wonderful and fanciful concepts will break down as selfishness and self-centered living will take over. In the end, we will wind up with the rich and the poor once again.
One of the most maddening inequities of the difference between the rich and poor is the whole practice of justice among them. Our own justice system has a statue that supposedly represents what our ideal is. That is a woman with a pair of scales who is blindfolded. The picture represents that justice is blind to differences in those who come to receive it. True justice is this way - but unfortunately all human systems will eventually break down due, once again, to the innate selfishness of mankind. Thus we have the problem of how the rich are represented at the bar of justice. If you have money - lots of money - you will fare better in our justice system. If you are dirt poor - and to be honest - black or a minority - often you will have a more difficult time in our justice system. To those who would argue against this by saying that more of these people commit crime, I would respond by saying that poverty itself often breeds crime. So, how do we bring a sense of justice to all this? Are we forever to face inequities between the rich and the poor? Is there no place where the rich and poor are treated alike?
This proverb - written by a very rich man - gives us God's answer. Before God all men are viewed the same. There is a statement of doctrine which says, "God is no respecter of persons." If God is Who the Bible says He is, then this is comforting to those who cringe at the basic inequities of this world. Being infinite and eternal - needing nothing and possessing everything there is - being all wise and having infinite understanding - being perfect and beyond any kind of corruption - we can trust Him. Also, if He already owns all things - who, praytell is going to impress Him or offer any kind of bribe or influence that would affect Him at all?
At this juncture I must make a differentiation between God Himself and how His church has conducted herself. Shamefully, the churches' history is replete with examples of bribery and influence peddling. James warned us in the New Testament that there would be the evil of favoring the rich and dishonoring the poor just because they were rich or poor. The Old Testament prophets thundered God's judgments against those who dishonored the poor while catering to the rich. But do not equate to God Himself the poor example that His children - or those who claim to be His children offer. Take God at His Word.
This proverb tells us that the rich and poor meet together at one place. This is what that common bond is (The literal Hebrew here means "to meet at a common place). They both meet before almighty God as His creation. The Lord is the maker of them all. I realize that many in this world will scoff at the thought of a creator God. But I would propose that you think about something if you want equity in the world. If all that there is came about through evolutionary processes - what basis is there for equity in the world. One of the fundamental principles of evolution is survival of the fittest. This means the strong survive and the weak are weeded out. If this is the case and is a principle upon which the survival of our species exists - then we shouldn't want equity for the poor. We should cheer the rich and their ability to maintain power and control. There is NO basis for any kind of selfless morality in evolution. There is only the fight to continue the species. So, if the poor gets in your way - evolutionary theory says to crush them because they will only weaken the species. This is what animated Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and any other horrific leader who took evolutionary thought to its logical conclusion. Those who propose some kind of equity in the world from it - are being utterly contradictory to their own theory of origin.
Let's return back to the proverb now. What is the place where rich and poor meet together? They meet at the point where God is maker of all. Both Judaism and Christianity teach that the point of ultimate equity is the throne of God. All men will stand here - and all will receive the justice due them for their actions. When we look at this biblical reality - it is a powerful motivator to use one's riches in a way that does not simply energize our innate selfishness. Your 70 or so years here on earth will yield you an eternity that will truly manifest true equity. Some will ignore this - and continue on their selfish path - but that path will only lead to destruction. True, the person may amass a fortune that impresses men - even impressing judges and rulers. But - God is unfazed by any amount of wealth that can ever be amassed by any individual, corporation, or nation-state. He continues to call us to obedience to His moral code. In the end - without any of the advantages of wealth, power, or human influence - both the rich and poor will come before their maker. They will be judged according to His standards - and will receive an ultimate future according to their deeds - according to the results of their actions.
Solomon wrote in his farewell address, the book of Ecclesiastes, of the inequity of rich and poor. He said that often in the place of justice there is inequity and corruption. He also spoke of the transitory nature of riches - and how they too often deceive their possessors of ultimate reality - that they will face true justice in the end. He closed that last teaching with this statement. "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Sounds to me like the richest man on earth, who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote these very words about the place where rich and poor ultimately meet for justice - knew very well that place. He knew that the justice due all men - regardless of their financial bottom line - lay at the feet of their Creator. We would do well to remember this in all our dealings - both financial and moral.