Deuteronomy 15:7-127 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. 9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 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.’
12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.
In Deut 15:7-12 God speaks to us clearly of a definite blessing in giving freely to the poor and needy, and especially to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. By giving freely, the Lord promises that anything and everything which we put our hands and minds to will prosper. God blesses us so that we can also be a blessing to others. In Genesis 1:28, we read about one of God’s mandates to Man, as He commands us to be a good manager of the resources over which He has given us dominion – namely the Earth. God demands action from each of His children, especially towards our own – the body of Christ.
Even in the New Testament, in James 2:14-17 – we see how faith and works should go hand-in-hand. This passage gives a clear example where MERE words of encouragement and wishes of peace spoken to a brother or sister in need are actually worthy of rebuke. 1 John 3:17-18 questions how we can claim that the love of God dwells in us if we see the needs of others and yet do nothing to help.
As we fast during this Lent season and in seasons to come, let us also remember the fast that God accepts, as shared in Isaiah 58:6-7. Accordingly, the oppressed are to be set free, we are to feed the hungry, welcome the poor into our homes and clothe the naked. Let us remind ourselves of the light and blessings that we are meant to be unto others through our actions. Finally, as 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, each one of us should yearn to be a cheerful giver.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for not being good manager of the blessings that you have bestowed upon me. Open my eyes, ears and hearts and lead me by your Holy Spirit towards the needs of my fellow believers, the poor, the needy, the widows and the orphans so that I can bless them with all that you have blessed me with. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.