BENEFITS OF HELPING THE POOR AND THE NEEDY. DEUTERONOMY 15:11
The dictionary defines the needy ( of a person) lacking the necessities of life; A very poor person, A poverty – stricken person,and it defines the poor ( of a person) lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society. The bible tells us that when we help the poor and needy among us, God blesses us and the bible also tells us that we incur a curse upon our self when we refuse to lend a helping hand to the needy and poor so also is it when we oppress the poor and the needy. The bottom line is, we must help the poor and the needy whether or not we like it. Funny enough, no matter how numerous or not so numerous what we own, we can never take a pin from them with us when we die, you see it is better we lend someone a helping hand and put a smile on someone’s face and make God happy than keep it all for our self.
Lets take this scenario. Mr A. is a wealthy man. A very wealthy man who has everything at his disposal. He is a christian. He hardly misses church service. He makes numerous contributions towards church projects. His name rings bells everywhere in the society. Here comes Mr. B. a very wretched man who hardly affords one square meal a day. Most times, he embarks on a fast because he cannot afford a meal. He has just one pair of trousers and only one faded shirt he uses on it. At night he washes his clothes and spread them to dry so he could use them the next day and whenever luck runs out on him and the clothes could not get dried before the next morning he will have to wear soaked clothes. He lives a stone’s throw away from Mr. A’s house. He is also a christian. He does not give offerings in church because he has nothing to give and anytime there is church service he treks miles to church to attend service. Mr. A is familiar with Mr. B. He knows how poor Mr.B is but he mocks him whenever he sees him. He drives his car pass Mr B. whenever he sees him trekking to the same church he also is going. Most times he tells Mr. B to his face that he stinks and that he would’t want to have anything to do with Mr.B because he could not imagine how he would feel to have people see him around Mr. B. He prefers to set ablaze his unwanted clothes rather than see them on Mr.B because according to him Mr.B. is not worthy enough to have his body touch his used clothes. What he has he only shares with his wealthy fellows, ”They are my class” are his words. How do you think God would feel seeing this? What impact has Mr. A created in the life of Mr. B?, above all, Of what use then is Mr.A’s wealth? He is already under a curse so says the bible in Proverbs 27:28“Whoever gives to the poor will have plenty. Whoever refuses to help them will get nothing but curses”
The scripture tells us that whatsoever we do to those in need we do it to God and when we refrain from helping the needy and the poor we also refrain from helping God. Do you know that God blesses us so we could be a blessing to others? If then we decide to be stingy then we are indirectly telling God that the reason for his blessing us is useless. Of course you are useless if you are only useful to yourself alone and not others. This earth is just a passing place. We are only but visitors here and we have a very short time here and we must make the best use of every seconds of our time and we must remember that for every action we take here on earth we will be held accountable for it when our LORD Jesus comes with all his glory. Our impact on the lives of others must be a positive one. We must learn to show love to everyone irrespective of their status, colour, creed, race, gender, wealth, health etc. We are all one and we must love one another.
Our purses will not run dry as long as we continue giving to the needy and the poor. Imagine this, when you close your palm nothing can enter because it has been close but when you open it then you can hold something on it so also it is when you are stingy in giving out that which you have ,then nothing new and better can come in because you have barricaded the way for better things to come in.
If Mr.Z comes running to you that he needs financial help, if you have, render to him as quick as possible that which he asks of you. Even though you have loaned to him before and he could not pay you back, you must still render to him that favour. Do not say he will not repay you again and so refrain from loaning to him, that is wrong, no matter what, you must not cease to help those who need it as long as you are in the position to do so and remember the scripture says that whenever you lend to the needy and poor do not collect interest on such money better still do not expect a refund of it.
We must listen to the cry of the poor and the needy among us so that when we call out to God for help ,he will also answer us. Just like I said earlier on, we can not expect God to come down to earth to help the needy and the poor ones among us. We are the tools of God whom he uses to accomplish his desires here on earth.
We know God is love and the bible even says so and as children of God who is love, we must always show love to all persons without discrimination. We cannot claim to love God and not show same to people around us.
Bible verses on the benefits of helping the poor and the needy:
Luke 16:19 – 31
“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day.A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores,and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores.The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried.In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’
“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish.Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’
“He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house;for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’
“But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
“He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’”
This story is a clear indication of how much God wants us to help both the poor and the needy. We do not expect God to personally come down to earth to help the needy and the poor among us. God uses men to bless men. It is good to give especially to the poor and the needy.
The bible speaking in Deuteronomy 15:11 says ” For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land”. The bible encourages helping both the poor and the needy in the society. Whenever you see yourself in a position where you can render help to someone in need of it, I beseech you my beloved to do so without delay because God is highly delighted in it.
The bible also tells us that when dealing with both the rich and the poor, we must not be partial about it. James 2:4 ”For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, “Sit here in a good place”; and you tell the poor man, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Ephesians 4:38 admonishes us to share what we have with those in need.
Proverbs 27:28“One who gives to the poor has no lack but one who closes his eyes will have many curses”. The bible is telling us here that stinginess invites poverty and curses into one’s life. We must learn to share what we have with others even when we do not have enough for our self then we should always share the little we have with others who are in need of it after all whether or not we share that which we have, we must definitely run out of it someday. It is pleasant before God when we share with others that which we have.
Hebrews 13:16 says ” But don’t forget to be doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” God’s blessings keep on flowing into our lives when we please him, his protection is there for us as well.
Proverbs 19:17“He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; he will reward him”. When we lend a helping hand to someone, we must not expect to be paid by that person rather we should see our giving as a gift render to God and him only should we look up to for a reward.
Proverbs 22:9“He who has a generous eye will be blessed;for he shares his food with the poor”. Just as blessings go with helping the poor so does curses go with not doing same.
Let’s see Matthew 25:31-45“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’”
Luke 12:33told us to sell the things we have and give that money to those who need it. This is the only way you can keep your riches from being lost. You will be storing treasure in heaven that lasts forever. Thieves can’t steal that treasure, and moths can’t destroy it”.
Luke 3:11He answered, “If you have two shirts, share with someone who does not have one. If you have food, share that too.”
See also James 2:15 -16, ” Suppose a brother or sister in Christ comes to you in need of clothes or something to eat.And you say to them, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you don’t give them the things they need. If you don’t help them, your words are worthless”
1 John 3:17 – 18, ” Suppose a believer who is rich enough to have all the necessities of life sees a fellow believer who is poor and does not have even basic needs. What if the rich believer does not help the poor one? Then it is clear that God’s love is not in that person’s heart.My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do.”
Proverbs 21:13” Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he will also cry out, but shall not be heard.” . When we show kindness to the poor God blesses us. Proverbs 14:21 says” Be kind to the poor, and you will be blessed. It is more blessed to give than to receive so says the bible says in Acts 20:35.
Even, Jesus said in Luke 14:12-14 “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back.But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind;and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.” Deuteronomy 24:14 ” You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers, or one of the foreigners who are in your land within your gates.”
Psalms 83:3 admonishes us to “Defend the weak, the poor, and the fatherless. Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed”.
Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor. You shall not charge him interest.”. Leviticus 19:10 ” You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.”
Jesus speaking in Luke 14:12-14says“When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back.But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind;and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”
Leviticus 25:35“‘If your brother has become poor, and his hand can’t support himself among you; then you shall uphold him.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11” If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which Yahweh your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother;but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, which he lacks.Beware that there not be a base thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand”; and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing; and he cry to Yahweh against you, and it be sin to you. You shall surely give, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; because that for this thing Yahweh your God will bless you in all your work, and in all that you put your hand to. For the poor will never cease out of the land.” Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land.
We are advice in Zechariah 7:10 not tooppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor. Oppress here extends to coveting that which belongs to the poor. There are so many life’s situations where we see the rich coveting that which belongs to the poor to them self because they know that the poor do not have the money to fight back, this must be stopped.
Deuteronomy 24:14-15says You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers, or one of the foreigners who are in your land within your gates. In his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down on it; for he is poor, and sets his heart on it; lest he cry against you to Yahweh, and it be sin to you. God loves the poor and he readily hear them when they cry to him , we must avoid falling into this temptation.
Lets seeProverbs 22:22-23, it says “Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor; and don’t crush the needy and plunder the life of those who plunder them”. We are to use our wealth to help and defend the poor not to oppress them so as not to incur the wrath of God upon us.
Psalms 41:1“Blessed is he who considers the poor.Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil”.
Again in Isaiah 58:1-11 the bible tells us that if you pour out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul., then your light will rise in darkness,and your obscurity will be as the noonday; Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don’t fail”.
How awesome it is to be generous and kindhearted towards the poor and the needy.
We must give to the needy and the poor among us in terms of food, clothes, money, advice, words of wisdom ,love etc to avoid incurring God’s wrath upon us and so that God numerous blessings that go with helping the poor and the needy will envelope us round about, Amen.