April 20, 2022 - Deuteronomy 24-27
How do we care for those less fortunate than we are? Is there a time when we have looked at someone and then ignored their plight and walked away? The Israelites were to be a people that demonstrated compassion and assisted the needy.
Israel was to remember the struggles they faced while slaves in Egypt and treat those facing difficult circumstances with generosity. Whether a divorcee, alien, orphan, or widow, Israel was to ensure all people with needs, were cared for in substantial ways. The gleaning and reaping laws were implemented to provide food for those who had none. The Levirate law came into effect if a man died and had no heir. The brother could marry the widow, and their son would be the heir to the deceased.
The temple was also a place where the poor, homeless, orphans and strangers could come to receive assistance in times of need. The people of Israel were to bring tithes and offerings into the temple so they may eat and be satisfied. This tithe was to be presented with a public statement of being obedient to God's guidelines to share the blessings with the wider community.
Today, we often look to the government for assistance for the needy rather than the church. While the government has offered a wide range of benefits, the church is still to care and assist those who have needs within their congregation and community. Paul instructs believers to demonstrate their obedience to Christ when he states, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3). Look for ways to be God's hands and feet to those in need around us.