So that they cause the cry of the poor - They were cruel and oppressive: the poor cried through their distresses, and against their oppressors; and God heard the cry of the poor. Nothing so dreadful appears in the court of heaven against an unfeeling, hardhearted, and cruel man of power, as the prayers, tears, and groans of the poor. In times of little liberality, when some men thought they did God service by persecuting those who did not exactly receive their creed, nor worship God in their way, a certain great man in Scotland grievously persecuted his tenants, because they had religious meetings in private houses out of the order of the establishment; though he never molested them when they spent their time and their money in the alehouse. A holy, simple woman, one of those people, went one morning to the house of the great persecutor, and desired to speak with him. The servant desired to know her message, and he would deliver it; for she could not be admitted. She told him she could deliver her message to none but his master; said it was a matter of great importance, and concerned himself intimately, and alone. The servant having delivered this message, and stated that the woman appeared to have something particular on her mind, his worship condescended to see her. "What is your business with me?" said he, in a haughty, overbearing tone. To which she answered, "Sir, we are a hantle o' puir folk at -, who are strivin' to sairve God accordin' to our ain conscience, and to get our sauls sav'd: yee persecute us; and I am come to beg yee to let us alane, and in ye dinna, we'll pray yee dead." This rhetoric was irresistible. His lordship did not know what influence such people might have in heaven; he did not like to put such prayers to the proof; wisely took the old woman's advice, and e'en let them alane. He was safe; they were satisfied; and God had the glory. When the poor refer their cause to God, he is a terrible avenger. Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth; but wo to the man that contendeth with his Maker.
So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him - - Their character is that of oppressors. They take away the rights of the poor; strip away their property without any just claims, and cause them to pour out their lamentations before God.
And he heareth the cry of the afflicted - They oppress the poor so that they appeal unto him, but God hears their cry, and brings punishment upon the oppressor. This is “a general remark” thrown in here, meaning that God “always” regards the cry of the oppressed. Its bearing on the case before us is, that God hears the appeal which the oppressed make to him, and as a consequence brings calamity upon those who are guilty of wrong.
Through varied channels the heavenly messengers are in active communication with every part of the world, and when man calls upon the Lord with a true and earnest heart, God is represented as bending from His throne above. He listens to every yearning cry, and answers, “Here am I.” He raises up the distressed and oppressed. He bestows His blessings on the evil as well as on the good. TMK 98.3Read in context »