As we have seen in our former studies of this subject, the word “whoso” is found 27 times in the book of Proverbs (KJV). This accounts for exactly one-half of the times that the word is found throughout the Bible. We continue with a look at another of these instances from this grand book.
Solomon stated, “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker; And he that is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished” (Prov. 17:5). Throughout the Word of God provision is made for the poor. Those living under the Law of Moses were not to harvest completely their fields, in order that the poor may glean from them and be able to eat (Lev. 19:10; 23:22; cf. Ruth). They were likewise commanded to take extra care in dealing with the poor of their land (Dt. 15:11). The poor were given special exemption from certain offerings. For example, the woman who gave birth to a child was to offer a lamb in sacrifice after the birth (Lev. 12:6). However, if she was not able financially to make such an offering, she was allowed to offer instead “two turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Lev. 12:8). This was, of course, the offering that Mary made when Jesus was born (Lk. 2:24). Jesus said, “For the poor always ye have with you” (Jn. 12:8). God has always been concerned about those unable to take care of themselves. But note, however, that there is a distinction made between those who are “unable” and those who are “unwilling.” Paul stated of the latter, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thes. 3:10).
Solomon also spoke in this passage of one who is “glad at calamity.” In his comment about this verse, Adam Clarke stated: “He who is pleased to hear of the misfortune of another will, in the course of God’s just government, have his own multiplied.” Have you ever known of one who simply thrilled at the hearing of another’s misfortune, or seemingly delighted in the telling of some tragic event or downfall of another? Obviously from Solomon’s words, such individuals are not unique to our generation or culture. We should take great care with how we look at the poor, and how we view hardships that befall others.