“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land” – Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV)
All around us we often witness castles raised by those with means to enjoy for their personal comfort. Where these are the fruit of one‘s labor we must praise God for these blessings. “For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain” and “The worker deserves his wage” (1 Timothy 5:18).
It’s a different matter though where these castles are all a result of looting public treasury leaving hardly any resources left to take care of the needs of the less fortunate. Perhaps it is income generated after extorting bribes causing costs of services like healthcare to rise. Maybe it is exploiting workers with poor pay, so that one can enjoy greater profits to go out and live in some paradise. Sometimes this wealth is by illegally seizing property of the weak.
While the results may seem obvious with one raising glorious towers for personal benefit the Lord is also concerned about the means. “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy…Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because there are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord, and you will be guilty of sin” (Deuteronomy 24: 14-15).
Exploiting the poor and the weak for personal enrichment displeases God. “Do not exploit the poor because there are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case, and exert life for life” (Proverbs 22:22-23). Indeed we are ever reminded that rich and poor are all the same in the eyes of God. “Rich and poor have this in common. The Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22: 2).
Life as it is there will always be rich and poor; and the rich often have power and means to make or break the lives of the poor who largely depend on them. But God is cautioning the rich to exercise their power with prudence. “Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity and the rod they wield with fury will be broken” (Proverbs 22:8). Rather, those who are blessed should be generous. “The generous will themselves be blessed for they share their food with the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
Today, God is calling us not to despise or load it on the poor, but go out and share His blessings with them. He shall bless us even more.
Prayer for today: Lord God Father of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today just as I am thankful for all the blessings in my life, with your Spirit let me remember the needy and less comfortable around me, to bless them as you enable, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!