When all scripture is considered both the old and new the new has a lot more to say about money than that of the law or “Old Testament” regarding the poor and about ministry support. This is only a small thumbnail sketch to high light the needs presented within the body of Christ.
Many ministries are not being helped to the degree that the Lord would want to see helped. Many Christians have heaped up money for a day when it is believed they can retire while the Lords work goes unfunded. Ecc. 7:11 Wisdom is good, along with possessions, an advantage to all who see the son. For Wisdom is a shelter, and money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is that Wisdom keeps the one who has it alive. Mt. 6:19-21 Lay up treasures in heaven.
God’s ministries need help. If God has put it on your heart to support a ministry then be obedient and bless that ministry. If you do not, and refuse with a hardened heart then you will miss your blessing. The law of sowing and reaping will be in effect. We sow in the spirit to reap in the spirit. We plow in hope and sowing good seed, and then is God is faithful bringing the increase. One sows, one waters and God brings the increase.
Moses' farewell speech to the Children of Israel.
In it, Moses anticipates their entry into the Land of Israel and the covenantal relationship upon which their success in the Land depends. Moses discusses the implications of their covenant with God and pays special attention to the societal obligations that it imparts to them--and to us.
Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, Verses 7-8 Gods Law given. When a member of our community becomes poor we must restore his/her dignity as well as money.
"If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. Rather, you must open your hand and provide him that which is sufficient for all he is lacking."
1. How do we measure the "lacking" for which we are obligated to provide?
2. What, if any, are the limits on our obligation?
3. Are there circumstances under which we can refuse to help?
4. Exactly what loss are we making up for?
5. What is the nature of the obligation of a Christian as understood by these passages?
"That which is sufficient..."--You are commanded to provide a pauper with sustenance [i.e. his basic needs] but you are not commanded to make him wealthy.
"For all he is lacking"--Even if he is lacking a horse to ride upon ( A Car) and a servant to run before him, you must provide these for him. It is said that Hillel the Elder regularly took a horse and a servant for a pauper who was of aristocratic parentage. Once, when he could not find a servant [available] to run before the pauper, Hillel himself ran before him for three millin [a distance of about 2 miles].
If an orphan boy and an orphan girl come before the administrators of a charity fund to be supported, we first provide for the girl and then we provide for the boy. For it is common for a man to go begging from door to door, but not for a woman [who would therefore be more embarrassed].
When an orphan boy comes for charity funds in order to get married, we rent a house for him, supply him with a bed and all the furnishings required for his use, and only then do we marry off a wife to him, for it says, "You must open your hand and provide him that which is sufficient for all he is lacking."
A pauper who owns a home and household utensils, even utensils of gold and silver, is not obliged to sell his home and utensils [in order to receive help]. It is forbidden to pressure a pauper or to raise one's voice at him because his heart will break. One who gives less than a nickel (coin of little value) is not credited with having given anything. One who gives help rudely loses all merit even if one gave one-thousand gold pieces.
One might conclude that "that which is lacking" is not to be measured in material terms at all. Sustaining a pauper is important as a means of restoring that which is really lacking: his (or her) dignity and sense of self-worth. Deprived of possessions, a person experiences a loss of dignity and a diminution of self; restored to them, his dignity is returned.
As understood by correct interpretation of the Gods law, our holy walk tells us to recognize the loss of dignity and sense of self that accompanies material depravation and commands us to act and to restore "that is lacking." The Christian society envisioned by Gods law is a society in which all its inhabitants are allowed lives of dignity and value and in which each member cares for the dignity of all others. This was commanded by Moses to the people before they entered into the Promised Land.
The ministry of “Helps” Ordained of God is empowered by Gods grace and Holy Spirit. Ro. 12:13 This ministry delivering to the necessity of the saints. He. 13:6 With the Lord as thy ministry helper the fear of what man can do was of non effect. He. 4:16 Grace from God given to help in time of need. Many problems would simply no be if the servants of God “Christians” would be obedient to The Holy Spirit and with this obedience have no lack.
You need to be a member of Black Preaching Network to add comments!
Join Black Preaching Network