Who would have thought that being wise involved the character trait of generosity and how we react to the poor? Yet that is exactly what we are dealing with today with the proverb of the day.
The one who is generous will be blessed. The idea for generosity here is one that comes from the Hebraism. The actual phrase is that this one has a good eye. In Hebrew, to have a good eye is to be someone who is kind and generous. It meant that you looked with kindness on others. It was the picture of a man who was good, gracious, kind, and generous. A man with a bad eye would be one who is stingy and selfish. He would be seen as an evil, ungodly man.
Jesus used these same Hebraisms when He said, "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness." (Luke 11:34-35, NASB) In the same way Jesus was stating that if our eye is selfish and stingy - if we are tight-fisted and unwilling to give to others - it will yield a darkness in us. We will be selfish, ungrateful, and unkind men. But if our eye is good - it shows that we are gracious and kind as well.
The man here with the good eye - he is generous and blessed. This is seen by the fact that he gives some of his food to the poor. This gracious and good man is concerned about those less fortunate than himself. Thus he takes his own food and gives some of it to the one poorer than himself - to bless them. This is something that is commended from Old to New Testaments.
As early as Exodus and Deuteronomy God told Israel not to forget the poor. In Deuteronomy 15:7 we read the following admonition by God - that sounds like a rewriting of this proverb. "If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks." But there are not only commands to remember the poor, but also promises of blessing to those who do. Proverbs 19:17 reminds us that those who are gracious to the poor lend to the Lord - and God promises to reward those who do so for their good deeds. We even find in the New Testament at the Jerusalem Council that Paul is urged to remember the poor - which he states is the very thing he wanted to do.
God wants so show His own gracious hand through how He leads His own people to be generous as well. That is why we want to be gracious and kind towards the poor. It is absolutely our duty - but it is also an important way that the world around us can see the character and love of our God as He works through us.