God loves and respects the poor and so should we
Moses/Joshua wrote a narrative about giving the Law to the Israelites who survived wandering in the wilderness for 40 years before they conquered the Promised Land. Moses gave them rules regarding poor workers. They were to be paid daily because they needed it to survive. They were not to be taken advantage of as it is easy to do. God cares for the poor and to rob them or not treat them with dignity would bring His wrath on the perpetrator.
God does care for the poor. He wants us to also care for them. We are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and do as He leads. Contrary to ancient Israelite and some modern beliefs, the poor are not always poor because of a lack of favor from God or because they are suffering consequences for bad choices. Conversely, the non-poor are not in that condition necessarily because they are pleasing to God. Unfortunately, westerners' identities are tied up with what they do for work and what possessions they have rather than how close they are to their Creator. We tend to view those less fortunate than us with disdain.
People are to be treated with dignity and love regardless of their financial status. God loves all people, and we are commanded to love them as we love ourselves. We are to outreach and provide as part of our commission. Evangelism is great, but our care for the poor should be first out of love rather than the urge to win souls.
Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, The New American Commentary, ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 323.
Created 12 months ago