A person’s riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.
This is a warning that illustrates the consequences of not being prepared for an emergency. It’s not a condemnation of being poor, but an observation of what happens in a fallen world. There are certain kinds of worldly trouble that can be resolved with a little money – with an emergency fund.
Just to be clear, this is not a condemnation of poverty in any way. Elsewhere in the Bible, those who are able are called to defend the defenseless, including the poor. So, if the poor cannot respond to a threatening rebuke, then we should for them. However, if you’re reading this page, it’s highly probable that you are not poor. You may be broke and out of money at the moment, but if you’re living in the US and you have access to a computer with the internet, and you’ve gone to the trouble of reading this website, you probably have a substantial income – you’re not poor. So, heed the warning of the verse. If you are foolish with your vast income, you are voluntarily discarding a safeguard that God gave you.