For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore, I command you, saying, “You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.” – Deuteronomy 15:11
When I lived in Africa, everywhere I looked there was poverty. In fact, I spent about 50 cents every time I went to the post office, because there are two old men there who were always sure to greet the “American” with an outstretched hand. At each stoplight, our truck was usually approached by two or three boys with red cans begging for money for the mosque. A close friend of mine would have been one of those boys back in the early ‘80’s.
Moses told the nation of Israel that there will always be poor people in the land and, no doubt, this remains true everywhere on our planet. There will always be poor people in every land, yet God has not called us to bring an end to poverty (it cannot be done). He has called us to bring the Good News of Christ coupled with a spirit of generosity, to alleviate the suffering that poverty brings. We should give liberally to those in need, but never fail to give Christ, too.
There may always be poor “in the land,” but they do not always have to be “lost.”
Poverty is not a shame, but the being ashamed of it is. – Old English Proverb
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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