Scripture: Deuteronomy 15: 11 “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
Observations: Galatians 1 is a bit of an introduction of who Paul is and why he is following God, instead of persecuting the Way.
Deuteronomy 13 warns about false prophets, and people who follow other gods, leading the Israelites astray. In Deuteronomy 14, Moses warns against self-mutilation and the eating of unclean foods. Tithing is also explained. Chapter 15 gets into the Sabbatical year, or the jubilee.
Application: This isn’t the only place that God tells us poverty will never die. Matthew 26:11 “11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7 “7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” John 12:8 “8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." In many ways that is disheartening to me, but I can see why. God created a perfect world, but the sin of the first couple caused thorns. Sin continues to propagate poverty. Greed. Laziness. Addiction. Incorrect use of resources causing areas unable to sustain food production, etc., etc. From what Moses said, and Jesus after him, this is not something we can conquer in our lifetime. However, that does not stop us from trying to ease the pain where we can. We must be generous with the poor. They are living right here in our midst. We don’t have to send our moneys overseas (though they do need help). We can start right in our own backyard. Especially with Covid-19 forcing so many out of work. We can give of our plenty, or even sacrificially.
Prayer: Lord, guide us in using our resources in a manner that is pleasing to you. Father, show us how we can help in our communities. Give us wisdom not to help breed poverty, but to conquer it. Lord, we pray for wisdom, especially during this state of chaos we find our world in today. Please direct our steps to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 16-18; Psalm 38; Galatians 2