Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 (03.07.24)

Photo by Jordhan Madec on Unsplash

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 (NIVUK)
7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards them. 8 Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbour this wicked thought: ‘The seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near,’ so that you do not show ill will towards the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed towards your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

God’s purpose for politics is not just to provide the order and peace we need to thrive, as we saw on Monday, but to care for the poor and vulnerable amongst us. This was enshrined in the Old Testament Law in instructions such as the Year of Jubilee and leaving crop that the poor could glean. Deuteronomy, however, reminds us that this doesn’t mean that this relieves us of our obligations as individuals, God desires us to play our part by being compassionate and open-handed as well.

Father, the term ‘open-handed’ is an evocative one, an expression of openness, welcome, and giving. Thank you for your open-handedness to us as seen in Christ. We pray that our politics may be open-handed, and that you would help us by your Spirit to be so too.

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