“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 to take care of the needs of the less fortunate; extorting bribes causing costs of services like healthcare to rise and, exploiting workers with poor pay, so that one can enjoy greater profits to go out and live in paradise.
While the benefits 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 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 Father in heaven, today I pray in the beloved name of Jesus, that I am thankful for the blessings in my life and give me the heart to go out and share these blessings with the needy around me!