The Poor Shall Never Cease
Deuteronomy 15:11: For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Mark 14:7: For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
The so-called war on poverty will never be won. Why will there always be poor people? I believe God has reasons for them. They provide a way to prove that we love God and others more than we love our possessions. When we give unto them we give unto the Lord.
Matthew 25:31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Luke 18:22: Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
We are commanded to give to the poor but note that giving to the poor is to be done by individuals who will be personally rewarded by God Himself. No one will be rewarded for giving other people*s money to the poor. Giving other people*s money to the poor does not prove that we love the Lord. In fact, it proves that we do not. Unless thieves who do that repent, they will be judged for robbing others. How much should we give to the poor? A good guideline can be found in Titus 6:8.
Titus 6:8: And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
If we are to be content with the basic necessities, so are the poor. Politicians beware. Give to the poor out of your own resources and do not give them more than their basic necessities. Do not make them rich at the expense of others. Forcing others to give to the poor will earn no rewards for you or for the ones you force. Recipients of financial aid are not exempt from the command to be content with the basic necessities and they are also commanded not to be covetous of what others have.
2 Thessalonians 3:10: For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
If we know the individuals we give to, we can know if they cannot work or if they will not work. We should not give to anyone who WILL NOT WORK. Giving to them just might be giving to the Devil. There is an important distinction there. If we know them we can know what they truly need. Giving to individuals we do not know is usually unbiblical and foolish.
Care to discuss The Poor Shall Never Cease with Ron?