9 April, 2023
LOVING AND CARING FOR THE POOR
(Christian Living 19)
God loves the poor and is concerned for them, especially those who belong to His family. If we love God then we will also have His heart and do the same – loving and caring for them. For this reason, God commands His people to show love and kindness to the poor and care for them. God gave several specific commands to ensure that His people treat the poor in their midst well.
1. The command to show justice to the poor and not to oppress them.
Exodus 23:6: "Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits”.
In corruption cases, the rich and powerful cheat the poor and defenseless in using lawsuits unjustly to get what they want. This should and must never happen with God’s children.
2. The command to bless the poor.
Deut. 15:7-8: “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs”.
3. The command to leave some harvest for the poor.
Lev 19:9-10:"'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.”
Israel was an agricultural nation in those days. The harvest is when they have food and sell them for money, etc. The poor needed food and so the loving God made this law to provide for them and their families. Today, this suggests that what God has blessed us with, we should also lay aside some of our blessings (earnings and profits, etc.) to give to the poor and provide for their necessities. God blesses us to makes us a blessing to others.
The Apostles James and John wrote to the suffering Christians in times of persecution not to forget the poor and needy. What about us? We are living in much better circumstances.
James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress”.
1 John 3:17-18: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother or sister in need but have no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.
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