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Weekend Edition – Giving to the Poor Follow Up

August 8, 2009

In these posts I like to give some Scripture passages and study notes on money for reflection over the weekend.  This week there was some great discussion on my post Should You Give Money to a Homeless Person.  One reader left a comment with an interesting verse, Deuteronomy 15:7. 

The context of Deuteronomy 15 actually has to do with the Sabaatical Year for Israel, where God called Israel to forgive debts and release slaves every seven years.  In this age we are no longer held to that law, but the principle of generosity and forgiveness very much apply today.  Here are verses 7-11 and the study notes for reflection:

7 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother,

8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.

9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin.

10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.

11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

ESV Study Notes:

Deut. 15:7–8 one of your brothers. This law does not apply to the poor outside Israel. The cause of the fellow Israelite’s poverty is not the issue, even if it is the result of squandering or foolishness. The command is internal: you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand. True obedience stems from the heart, and it may be costly to the Israelite in giving what is needed. The verbs open and lend are emphatic. Christians are also to be generous toward one another (cf. 1 John 3:17).

Deut. 15:9–11 unworthy thought in your heart. See note on 4:37-39. If the sabbatical year is close, then any money lent is less likely to be repaid. So the command is to lend what is needed, regardless of the date of the next sabbatical year. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging. This reiterates 15:8, emphasizing a heart of generosity. there will never cease to be poor. See v. 4 and note on vv. 4–6. Cf. Matt. 26:11.

I really like verse 11, “..Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”  God commands Israel to live with open hands and loose grips on their money so they can give to the poor and needy.  

What are your thoughts on these verses?

Week Links

This was a great week for Redeeming Riches in terms of getting linked by others.  Here are a couple of Money Carnivals and other links this week:

Should You Give Money to a Homeless Person

7 Things You Don’t Want to Be Caught Dead Without

How Much Do You Need to Retire

  • This post was also published on the front page of Tipd

TIPS to Fight Inflation

This was my first post published on Personal Dividends – a regularly updated Blogzine that discusses topics integral to living a fulfiling and enriching personal life.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 11:07 am

    I was glad you submitted your “7 Things” article to the Best of the Best carnival, Jason! Without well-written informative posts such as yours, these carnivals would not be worth the effort of hosting! 🙂

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

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