A couple of years ago when I read through the Old Testament I discovered for the first time (to me, anyway) just how often the prophets say that God is angry with Israel and Judah because they do not care for the down and out.
God will in fact punish His people for their lack of compassion.
The prophets also suggest that care for the poor, the alien, widows, orphans, the hungry, the thirsty – anyone in need – is a measure of one’s faith. Those who belong to God care for those in need – the needy within the family of faith as well as those who are still “outsiders.”
Of course, Jesus said the same in his first sermon, through the parable of the Good Samaritan, via the Great Commandment, and in Matthew 25:40.
Today’s Proverb reiterates the point – with a twist:
Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13 (NIV)
So, better keep your ears open! Or suffer the consequences!
When’s the last time you reached out to someone in need? Especially someone outside of your family or your church?
If your church needs help reaching out to the needy in its community, this organization can help with models, training, and resources.
Today’s Readings: 2 Chronicles 34:1-36:23, Psalm 86:1-7, Proverbs 21:13-14, Acts 21:1-16. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).