Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God helps the poor

“I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” Psalm 140:12
Throughout the Bible, we come across verses like this. God especially looks out for the poor and vulnerable – widows, orphans, those who are destitute. In the Law of Moses, the command is given not to show partiality to either poor people or rich people, but to judge fairly (Lev. 19:15). The reason is, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, Rom. 2:11, Eph. 6:9). He does not show favouritism. He does not give handouts to the poor simply because they are poor – for example, if they are poor because they are lazy (2 Thess. 3:10). But He objects to rich people taking advantage of the poor (James 5:1-5). God will take care of the poor person who cries out to Him.
We need to remember that Jesus was born to a poor family. They couldn’t afford a lamb for the offering at His circumcision (Luke 2:24, viz. Lev. 12:8). He had nowhere of His own to live (Matt. 8:20). He had to borrow a coin to show a theological lesson (Matt. 22:19). Jesus knows what it is like to have few material possessions. He became poor so that we might become spiritually rich (2 Cor. 8:9). And for one final verse, let’s note James 2:5, “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him?” I had the opportunity to visit my sponsored child and his family in Africa a few years ago. It was immensely humbling to see what little they had, and yet their faith in God was strong and deep. They really knew what it meant to depend on Him, to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ – in a way that I don’t.
So we must never look down on poor people; instead we should do what we can to help. Our worth is not based on our wealth. Praise God for that!

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