Biblical Principle #270: Financially Loving the Poor

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In the Law of Moses, God told Israel to be generous towards the poor who were in need, financially.


We previously established that GOD instructed Israel to cancel debts towards fellow Israelites every seven years. One easy-to-anticipate side effect of such a requirement would be the increasing difficulty of obtaining loans or acquiring debt as the cancellation date drew near.

GOD’s entire objective was protection of the poor and easing of burdens of the people, so He warned Israel through Moses that the people should be generous in helping the poor:

7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren within any of the cities in your land the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall surely open your hands to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest there be a hidden thought in your heart, a transgression of the law, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it be a great sin among you. 10 You shall surely give him and loan him as much as he needs, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in everything to which you put your hand. 11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore, I command you to do this word which says, ‘You shall surely open your hands to your brother, to your poor and needy in your land.’

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 OSB

GOD promised that:

  • He was watching and knew the thoughts of every man’s hearts.
  • If they withheld from a poor person who asked, it would be a great sin among them, and GOD would hear that poor man’s cry (indicating that this would not end well for the stingy).
  • If a man were generous and gave freely, GOD would bless their work in all their ways. That was a promise!
  • The poor would never cease from the land.

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