Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him (Proverbs 14:31, ESV). It is a shame beyond measure when one feels a superiority in comparison to some other person. The force of this proverb could be understood like this: to oppress/criticize that which God created means YOU think you could do a better! Arrogance at it best (worst)! This is not only arrogance, but arrogance that looks for a home in an empty room. Though the idea of oppression in this proverb appears to be something physical, there is oppression in the words spoken also. Sometimes the words spoken can be more difficult to handle and move past than physical wounds. Note the contrast, however. The generous man is not only giving with regard to his possession, but with his words and disposition.
There are some people within the Lord’s body who feel threatened. I only speak about those who feel threatened in a religious/spiritual context. In this particular context (of which I speak) these are people who have aligned themselves with the thinking of people like Korah (unbeknownst to them), and can be called “Korahites” (Numbers 16).
In the context of Numbers 16, Moses was serving the Lord (and the people) when Korah and some associates felt threatened because “they were just as good as Moses” (16:1-3). The Lord did not respond well to this at all; in fact, He called all together and made distinctions (16:31-35) in accordance with His will, and not the will of any man.
When the Lord chooses (or assigns) roles for particular people or groups, only He can alter what He prescribed. For man to choose presumptuously for himself is to reject the Lord’s choice (16:30). Korah and his associates were of a way of thinking similar to those who are progressive in spiritual matters today. Religiously progressive people feel they have a talent and no leader in the church should prevent the use of that talent. Be careful lest the earth open up! RT