Our mission to the poor!
Scripture reading for February 25th: Deuteronomy 12-16
In many cultures, the poor and needy are viewed as under the judgment of the gods. These people are despised and live in the worst conditions on the fringes of society. Children born in the families are destined to live in poverty, sickness, and usually have an early death. India has millions living in the caste system and viewed as nearly untouchable by their peers. The Hindu religion and the teaching of reincarnation and the caste system keep the bondage in place.
The God of the Bible, creator of heaven and earth, is compassionate and merciful. When He formed the nation of Israel and delivered them from slavery, He instructed them to care for those society had looked down upon. The orphans and widows were singled out for special care. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) God promised to bless the Israelites when they cared for them. The alien was also to be cared for, because the Israelites were aliens and strangers in Egypt and could identify with being on the outside of the economic and political power system.
God said that there should be no poor among His people. (Deuteronomy 15:4) If they fully obeyed the Lord in keeping all His commands, God would so bless them that they would have an abundance to help others. They would lend only and not borrow. (Deuteronomy 15:6) God’s heart was and is to prosper His people. (3 John 2) However, some would be poor and need help. God’s people were to be generous, not to be “tight-fisted” or “hard-hearted”, but “open-handed.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-10) God told them it was a sin to be stingy toward the poor brother! Through their generosity they would honor the generous God who had given them everything!
“A generous man will prosper and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25)
“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31)
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)