What the Bible says about Poverty: Deuteronomy 15:4-6

Good day! Today we’re on our third post in the series “What the Bible says about Poverty.” This post will look at a passage in Deuteronomy that tells us how God intended life to be.

(4) There will be no poor among you, however, because the Lord is certain to bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance – (5) if only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of the commands I am giving you today. (6) When the Lord your God blesses you as he promised you, you will lend to many nations but not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. Deuteronomy 15:4-6

Doesn’t this paint a beautiful picture? God brought His people out of their pain and suffering as slaves in Egypt and to this new promised land where they would be blessed beyond measure. This passage says there will be no poor, yet this doesn’t seem to be accurate. There are clearly people experiencing poverty now and throughout history. So, why is God saying His blessing will result in the abundance of blessing and the absence of poverty?

See that phrase snuck right in the middle of the passage? “If only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of the commands I am giving you today.” God gives many instructions, that when followed, result in a beautiful, flourishing life. However, because of the fall and the brokenness of humans, we don’t follow all the commands God gave us. This is the reason we have poverty in our world. Humans, by our own means, are incapable of living up to God’s standards that would result in that picture of a thriving, bountiful community painted above.

Thankfully, God sent his holy and perfect son Jesus Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice for our shortcomings. Through our reconciliation with Christ, we can have a piece of this promised, flourishing life here and now (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). While we won’t experience full flourishing until the Kingdom comes, we have been mandated to care for the poor in the now. We can read the Bible and learn what God’s commands are. How does he tell us to treat the poor and what systems should we set up to prevent or overcome poverty?

Later in this series, we will read some of these commands — there are many more than ten! God gave us the blueprint for poverty alleviation; we just need to study and implement it.

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What the Bible says about Poverty: Jeremiah 22:16

Welcome! You’re joining in on the second in our blog series “What the Bible says about Poverty.” Last week we looked at Micah 6:8 and today we will explore a verse that shows how the message of Micah 6:8 played out practically in the way one Old Testament king ruled.

Let’s first look at the context around Jeremiah 22:16; for this you can read Jeremiah 22:13-17. In this passage, the prophet Jeremiah is rebuking King Jehoiakim (king of Judah from 608 to 598 B.C.) for living an overly luxurious life while treating his laborers unjustly and not paying them their due wages. Next, he reminds Jehoiakim of his father Josiah’s success because of his righteous actions, saying:

He took up the case of the poor and needy, then it went well. Is this not what it means to know me? This is the Lord’s declaration. Jeremiah 22:16.

God doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to his commands to care for the poor and vulnerable populations (Psalm 82:3-4; Proverbs 14:31; Jeremiah 22:3; James 1:27; 1 John 3:17-18).  Let the gravity of this phrase really sink in: “This is the Lord’s declaration.” There’s no suggestion, no if you feel like it, no when it’s convenient for you.  God tells us here: When you’re in relationship with Me and seeking to know My ways, you will fight for the poor and needy.

Like we discovered last week, when we walk humbly with God and are in relationship with Him, we discover His heart and are transformed to reflect Him. His heart is so big for the oppressed that He says, if you aren’t actively seeking justice for the poor and needy, then you don’t really know Me. That’s a hard declaration to take in.

Perhaps you’ve never realized how serious God is about protecting the poor against injustice. If so, this week I want to challenge you: click on the links to the verses and take some time to reflect on his commands and let his Word sink into your heart.

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What the Bible says about Poverty: Micah 6:8

Welcome and thanks for stopping by to read our first blog post! We at SERVE 6.8 hope you’ll find these posts helpful in discovering more about SERVE 6.8 and that they’ll cause you to reflect on how you engage with those experiencing poverty.

The mission of SERVE 6.8 is to unify, equip, and be an extension of the local church to serve the poor. The foundation of how we approach serving those in poverty is found in the Bible. That’s why for this first series we’ll be walking through my ten favorite verses on poverty. The first verse we’re going to explore is Micah 6:8 and I can’t think of a better place to start, given it’s one of the two founding verses of SERVE 6.8.

In Micah, we see a corrupt nation, a people concerned with their own wealth and disregard for the vulnerable. In Micah 6, God is reminding His people of His righteousness and all He’s saved them from to which they ask, aren’t our offerings and sacrifices good enough? The reply is this:

Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

“…to walk humbly with your God.” This sounds nice, but what does it mean? When we do something “with” someone, it means we’re in relationship with them. To do so humbly, means setting aside our selfish desires and pride. When we’re in relationship with God, setting aside our pride, and submitting to His authority and ways; His ways becomes our ways and His heart becomes our heart (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Only when we are humbly walking with God can we really understand that we can’t behave sinfully then make our offering and think he’ll be pleased. We are called to have His heart for the oppressed, the fatherless, and the widow (Isaiah 1:17). Not only are we to show love and mercy to the oppressed, but we are also to act justly; to actively be engaged in their lives and advocate for the cause of those who are vulnerable.

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