CARING FOR THE POOR

“Blessed (happy, rewarded) is he who considers (cares for, provides for, shows compassion toward) the poor”(Psalm 41:1). Scripture consistently reflects concern for the disadvantaged. And it warns the rich. We are neither encouraged to be poor nor to look down on the wealthy. But the temptation of being ruined by riches is powerful, and the hardship of the poor is common.

Rather than care for them we sometimes wonder if our generosity will be misused, if they already have enough from others, if we are truly being led to give, if others are in a better position to help, if giving will actually hurt them, if we have the time.

Read the Book. Provision was made in the law to leave portions of one’s field unharvested, so the poor could have at it. How kind of God. Godly women looked after the needs of the Son of Man. The early church provided for the poor.

Six blessings come to those who care:
THE LORD DELIVERS HIM IN TIMES OF TROUBLE.
Prayer is fueled by godliness. God honors those who honor Him (I Samuel 2:30). One way to honor is to demonstrate a bias for the broken–like God. He doesn’t come up with excuses for not caring. And He gives incentive to His children who are better off.

THE LORD WILL PROTECT HIM AND PRESERVE HIS LIFE.
How much are protection and preservation worth? God will give it free to those who think about others more than themselves.

HE WILL BLESS HIM IN THE LAND.
We are blessed to be a blessing, and then the blessings return to us. Cool! We can only keep what we don’t hold onto, whether money, love, or friendship. If you wonder why God blesses people and you just don’t happen to be one of them, start giving yourself away. It is NOT about you!

AND NOT SURRENDER HIM TO THE DESIRE OF HIS FOES.
David, a highly successful king, was also unpopular, even in his own family. Surrendering to God meant God didn’t surrender him to his enemies. If you want to live freely in a society that is not safe, care for the poor.

THE LORD WILL SUSTAIN HIM ON HIS SICKBED.
I would rather err on giving out too much than too little, on buying a drunk a drink than missing a legitimate opportunity. It will mean that I will get the care when I am in the place of weakness and needing outside help.

AND RESTORE HIM FROM HIS BED OF ILLNESS.
Some poor people never get to the place of restoration. With our help, they might. And then restoration will bounce back to us.

Even living by grace, rewards abound for the righteous. It was motivation to Paul to run a good race. How you live now impacts how you will live in eternity. Heaven is a theocracy, not a monarchy. The king decides who rules over cities in the new earth, and it is the faithful. They chose short-term pain for long-term gain. And eternity is a long time. Start building up credits today if you haven’t already. Be a person of character, and care for the poor, and God will repay you. Do it not by grit but by the Holy Spirit!

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