A Heart for the Poor

Day 257

Prayer for the day

Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory.

Scripture for the day

Proverbs 22-24, 2 Corinthians 8

Charity is a lovely thing. Charity is the act of equalization, the desire to make what is unequal, equal. Charity seeks not to bandaid a difficult situation, but to ensure that the one who is oppressed is no longer oppressed, the one who is needy is no longer needy, and the one who has too much, no longer has more than he needs.

Paul takes up the case for charity in his letter to the church in Corinth. He eagerly desires to see the needs of the poor looked after, and so encourages them to take up an offering in order to care for their brothers and sisters, so that they might share in the giving and sacrifice to which they’ve been called.

He claims that he is not trying to force this on them, but that their love for each other and the rest of the family of God is shown most clearly when they care for each other as well as for the rest of the family of God!

The writer of Proverbs doesn’t really offer a lot of rationale for caring for the poor, but he certainly has the same requirement for righteousness. He insists that we not crush the needy or seek to ruin the poor. The consequence will be dire, says the writer, since the poor’s case will be taken up by none other than God himself.

God has a deep and abiding care for the poor, according to the scriptures, and this care is translated into the people of God, to ensure that we as God’s people seek for the best for one another, levelling the playing field by giving out of our excess to raise the stature of the needy, recognizing that, as the Proverbs writer says, the Rich and Poor are equally created by God!

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