March 15, 2017
READ: Deut. 15:4-11, 24:17-22
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honours him (Proverbs 14:31).
A UK survey revealed that 96 percent of the generous donors surveyed gave to charity because they wanted to give back to society and tackle inequality. And 71 percent said they gave because of their faith.
Giving generously to those in need is central to being a believer in Jesus—something that reflects His heart. Our God, the defender of the poor and the oppressed (Psalm 12:5), told His people that He keeps a watchful eye on the orphans, widows and foreigners—giving them justice, food and clothing (Deuteronomy 10:18). He wanted them to be compassionate, to “not be hardhearted or tightfisted” but to “give generously . . . , not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do” (15:7,10).
When harvesting crops (24:19-21), the people were to provide food for the poor by leaving some behind so they could harvest it. God twice reminded them that they too were once poor. “Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from your slavery. . . . That is why I have given you this command” (vv.18,22). God blessed them materially so that they could enjoy His good gifts. But they were to share them with those in need (14:28-29).
How are we living out the heart of God for those in need? Whether we have little or much, it’s our joy to pour out on others what He’s given, remembering that “those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honours him”. And, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 14:31, 19:17).
May we give to those in need as God prompts us and provides, using us as conduits of His love and compassion.
—K. T. Sim
365-day plan: Ruth 1:1-22
Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19 to see Paul’s instruction in giving out of generosity prompted by full trust in God.
How has God provided for you and those you love? How can you more generously extend to others what He’s lavished on you?