Category Archives: Bible

Exodus 6:1-13

Introduction

As you may recall, Moses and Aaron’s confidence had risen after a good reception by the Hebrew elders. But after being rejected by Pharaoh, seeing the Hebrew slaves being treated badly, and then being blamed for it, Moses and Aaron complained to God that He had not done what He had promised.

Chapter six continues the account of their conversation with God. In it we will see God’s answer to their complaint and their response to Him.

Before we get too far, let us ask ourselves the question again. Do we believe God will keep his promises only when things go well for us? Or do we believe God’s promises regardless of how His plan unfolds?

Message

  1. What God promised to do (1-5)
    [Read Exodus 6:1-5.]

    In this section, God goes through a list of His promises to Israel. This list was given to Moses to calm his fears and to give him hope for the future.

    a. I will make Pharaoh drive them out (1).

    Now you shall see… The Lord answered Moses’ complaint by pointing him to the future. Moses would see how God’s promises were going to be fulfilled.

    Pharaoh’s future actions… A strong hand refers to either God’s power or him raising His hand to keep His promise. Either one means that Pharaoh would be compelled by God to let the people go. The Lord “was arranging circumstances so that Pharaoh would let them go and would even compel them to do so.” (BKCOT 116)

    b. I will reveal myself as the Lord (2-3).

    In the past, God had revealed himself to the patriarchs as God Almighty, “the One who provides and sustains” (BKCOT 116). Now, God was revealing Himself as The Lord, Yahweh, Jehovah.

    “The name Yahweh comes from the Hebrew word for ‘I am.’ When God met Moses at the burning bush and commanded him to go back to Egypt and lead the people out, Moses asked who he should say has sent him. ‘God said to Moses, I am who I am.’ … “The name speaks of the self-existence and self-sufficiency of God. All others are dependent upon Him for life and breath and existence. He is dependent upon no one.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/meaning-of-Yahweh.html)

    c. I will give them the land of Canaan (4).

    God promised to keep his covenantal promise to the patriarchs. Remember the promise made to Abraham? God promised to fulfill that promise by giving them the land of Canaan.

    d. I will remember my covenant (5).

    God was aware of their groanings under the Pharaoh’s cruel bondage. As the beatings continued and morale did not improve, the Israelites may have thought that God had forgotten his promise to them. God wanted them to know that he was aware of their suffering. God had not forgotten his covenantal promise to them.

    Summary: In four statements, God made it clear that he was still acting on the behalf of the suffering Israelites. (1) I will make Pharaoh let you go. (2) I will be known to you as the boundless, self-existing One. (3) I will give you the Promised Land. (4) I will remember my covenant to you.

    When God makes promises, He always keeps them. Moses was not yet convinced that what God had promised would come true. He was listening more to his feelings and experience instead of trusting the One who will keep His promises.

    Learn to look past your personal feelings and experiences to what God has promised. If you are a child of God, you surely have seen Him act on your behalf before, right? Don’t you know that He will keep His promises to you? Take some time today to review His promises and rest in His unfailing care for each of His children.

  2. What God told Moses to say (6-8)
    [Read Exodus 6:6-8.]

    Notice that God begins with the word, “therefore.” He is reminding Moses and Aaron that His promises would be kept. With that in mind, God tells Moses what to say to the Israelites. He gives him the words that will inspire their confidence in God Himself taking care of their problems.

    a. Tell Israel I will rescue them (6).

    He said, I am the Lord, I will rescue you from bondage, and I will show my strength with great judgments. We know what those great judgments would be like. God would send ten plagues that would show Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Israelites that God can’t be messed with. There would come a time when all of these people would recognize the power of God’s “outstretched arm.”

    b. Tell Israel I will be their God (7).

    He would take them as His people and He would also be their God. It would be a remarkable relationship that no other nation would have. Then they would know that He is the Lord their God.

    c. Tell Israel I will bring you to the promised land (8).

    This is what the Israelites needed to hear. They didn’t want to be slaves in Egypt and to suffer. What would it be like in this new land? Much better. But those promises were made over 400 years previous to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was almost as if God had forgotten His promise.

    We also look forward to the fulfillment of God’s promise to send Jesus back to take us to be with Him. Don’t let the passing of time convince you that God will not keep this promise. Read 2 Peter 3:3-9.

    His final statement was signed off with His name. I am the Lord—the Self-Existing God who can do what He promises.

    Summary: Once again, Moses and Aaron must have been confident after hearing directly from God. God had promised to do great things for Israel. God had told them exactly what to say. Now, they only had to believe and obey Him.

  3. What happened as a result (9-13)
    [Read Exodus 6:9-13.]

    In this section, we see that things didn’t turn out as well as Moses would have liked. The response from the Israelites was not good and the prospect of another bad response from Pharaoh was not expected as well.

    a. Moses was rejected by Israel (9).

    Moses and Aaron gave God’s message to the Israelites. But the suffering slaves would not listen to their words. They were overcome with anguish because of their cruel treatment by the Egyptians. Moses and Aaron are now emotionally down again. What was God’s next plan for them?

    b. Moses was afraid of Pharaoh (10-12).

    God told them to tell Pharaoh to let them go again. Moses told the Lord that Israel had just rejected him. Moses told the Lord that Pharaoh wouldn’t listen either. Moses again described himself as a bad speaker. Perhaps he “thought that his lack of success with the people was caused by his lack of oratorical ability.” (BKCOT 116)

    Isn’t it interesting how Moses’ confidence goes up and down. He keeps going back to his inabilities instead of trusting God’s promises.

    Do you think God knew about Moses’ excuses and feelings of inadequacies before He chose him to lead Israel? Now ask the same question about yourself. Do you think God knew about your excuses and inadequacies before He saved you and set you apart for His service? The answer is yes.

    God did not reject Moses or look for another person. He had chosen Moses and would make him fit for the job.

    c. Moses was told what to do (13).

    God spoke to them. This is a magnificent thought. God spoke to them despite their feelings of inadequacy. God told them a command for the Israelites. God told them a command for Pharaoh.

    Whatever he said to them, you can imagine that He had not changed His mind about his promises or what the people needed to hear. Whatever he said to them, you can imagine that He had not changed His mind about his promises or what the people needed to hear.

Conclusion

Moses was discouraged by the bad response of both the Israelites and Pharaoh. So, what did God do to spur him on to obedience? God went back to His sure promises. He listed off all the great things He promised to do for Israel. And when Moses still had trouble being confident, God told him exactly what to do.

The lesson for us is this. When we are discouraged and lack confidence, we should go back and review the promises of God. As we look at His many promises, we will see that His promises include not only positive things but negative as well.

POSITIVE NEGATIVE
I will forgive your sins (1 John 1:9). You will suffer (2 Tim. 3:12).
I will give you eternal life (John 3:16). You will be hated (Luke 21:17).
I will be with you (Matt. 28:20). Evil men will get worse (2 Tim. 3:13).

When we remember all of God’s promises, we will have more of a realistic perspective about what happens as we carry out God’s commands. God doesn’t promise a life without problems. But He does promise that He will be with us, and tells us what to expect, and what to look forward to as we obey His commands.

The Hope Helmet

Throughout the years, authors have thrilled readers with seven-league boots, an invisibility cloak, and King Arthur’s magical sword. The hero of the story would use his special item to do what others could not. And it is certain that the reader always wondered what it would be like to have such an item. What could he have done with it?

As Christians, we know that there are no magical talismans given to us by God. Instead, we are given spiritual armor that enables us to fight against the evil one (and also our own thoughts at times). The armor is not hidden in a castle or distant cave but is always available because it is the result of us having right thinking based on God’s promises to us.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10, Paul reminds us that we have, among other things, the helmet of hope. I think the idea is that our head (our thinking) should be controlled by the certain hope of salvation that God has given us through Christ. Knowing that “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” ought to produce hope and comfort in us.

Christian, why not try wearing that helmet today? Meditate on the hope that you have in Jesus and find comfort that he has saved you from the wrath to come and wants to live with you forever.

What do you think about the Bible?

What do you think the Bible is? Is it a good book to follow for morals? Is it a book from which we can pick and choose what we like or dislike? Is it good for children but not so much for adults? Is it helpful but not binding? Is it just the thoughts of a bunch of religious people trying to control people?

The Apostle Paul wrote this about the Bible:

“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
– 1 Thess. 2:13 NKJV

The Bible was written/spoken by men.

In the beginning, there was no New Testament of the Bible. It was passed along by word of mouth and verified by the Old Testament scriptures. God sent out apostles like Paul to preach God’s message to people all over the world. No doubt, his spoken messages included topics like God’s view of man’s sin, God’s love for the world, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and the need for repentance and faith in Jesus. These doctrines were later written down and compiled into what we now call the New Testament.

The Bible is God’s Word.

In the verse quoted above, Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for receiving his teaching as not just the teaching of men. The messages shared with them were not his own thoughts, but what was given to him by God. That is what the Bible is—God’s Words for mankind. (See also 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:13-17.)

The Bible works in the lives of those who believe.

The response of the Thessalonian people was life changing as indicated in Paul’s description of them (1 Thess. 1:6-10). They turned away from worshiping idols to serve the one, true God. They became joyful people, model Christians, and effective speakers of the truth to many others in their area. The Bible is effective in the lives of those who hear it and especially in those who believe it and live by it.

Conclusion

The Bible is more than just a book written by religious people. It is a collection of God’s Words to people. In this book, God lays out his teaching about everything. It includes hard-to-take descriptions of our own sinfulness. But it also includes the cure for our sin — Jesus himself. If you have received Him, you understand the wonderful message of the Bible and have seen it change your life. It is God’s Word to us. So, read, believe, and obey it and you will discover the blessing of God’s perfect plan for your life. Then share it with others with the expectation that God will use it in their lives as well.

Psalm 77 in English Rhyme

While reading a commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, the author took an aside to talk about the peace that comes from a spiritual mindset (see Rom. 8:6). When a Christian focuses on the Holy Spirit’s leading, he will experience peace because he is following God’s direction and plan. The commentator explained that this peace can be misunderstood as the absence of any trouble. That is not true as many believers in the Old and New Testament times faced difficult situations.

As evidence, the commentator pointed to the psalmist’s thoughts in Psalm 77. The following poem summarizes the thoughts of that psalm, and might also parallel what other believers have gone through at times. As you read it, you may be reminded of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” I think this is well done.

The thought of God brought me no peace
But rather made my fears increase
With sleepless eyes and speechless pain
My fainting spirit grieved in vain
The blessedness of long ago
Made deeper still my present woe

Recalling days when faith was bright
When songs of gladness filled my night
I pondered o’er my grievous woes
And searching questioning arose
Will God cast off and nevermore
His favor to my soul restore?

These doubts and fears that troubled me
Were born of my infirmity
Though I am weak, God is most high
And on his goodness I rely
Of all his wonders I will tell
And on his deeds my thoughts shall dwell

William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980, pp. 249-50.

Discontented with God’s blessings

“But the lesson of the text is rather for those who have the favor and blessing of God, but are not content, and still crave worldly things. You are in covenant with God. He has redeemed you, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. You are now the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what you shall be. There is laid up for you an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. Yet your heart hankers after the things of the world. Your acquaintances and friends are better off. Your bare house, your homely furnishings, your poor dress, your simple fare distress you, and you would fain be in a higher worldly sphere, enjoying more consideration, and participating more freely in worldly enjoyments.

Be assured, my friends, you are not in a wholesome frame of mind. To be depreciating the surpassing gifts which God has given you, and to be exaggerating those which He has withheld, is far from being a wholesome condition. You wish to be like the nations. You forget that your very glory is not to be like them. Your glory is that ye are a chosen generation, an holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, your bodies temples of the Holy Ghost, your souls united to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet again, there are congregations, which though in humble circumstances, have enjoyed much spiritual blessing. Their songs have gone up, bearing the incense of much love and gratitude; their prayers have been humble and hearty, most real and true; and the Gospel has come to them not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. Yet a generation has grown up that thinks little of these inestimable blessings, and misses fine architecture, and elaborate music, and highly cultured services. They want to have a king like the nations. However, they may endanger the spiritual blessings, it is all important to have these surroundings. It is a perilous position, all the more perhaps that many do not see the peril—that many have little or no regard for the high interests that are in such danger of being sacrificed.”

W. G. Blaikie, The First Book of Samuel, 112-13.

Quote of the Day – Biblical Obedience

Biblical obedience is not just compliance with some abstract law or rule. It is the submissive response to the person of the Holy Spirit, who has revealed the will of God to us through His Word. It means saying yes to God as we say no to self. It means denying self instead of indulging self. It means pleasing God instead of pleasing self. It means walking in the Spirit instead of grieving the Spirit.

Jim Berg, Changed Into His Image, p. 88.

I think Berg’s point is that obedience to God is not just doing what is asked. True obedience includes a submission to God himself in the process. That is why “the sacrifice of the wicked [obedience to God’s law] is an abomination to the Lord [not pleasing to God].” If we want to please the Lord and keep our relationship right with Him, we have to have the right attitude as well as the right action.

Benaiah – the Mighty Man

As a boy, I always enjoyed reading adventure stories and especially those in the Old Testament. The books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles fascinated me and still do today. During one reading I came across a soldier in David’s army who later became my favorite Bible character. His name is Benaiah.

Who was this man? Benaiah was one of David’s mighty men. He was know for several astounding feats. But his entire life is an example of someone who faithfully and consistently served the Lord.

God honored his service.

He was valiant (2 Sam. 23:22-23).

King David surrounded himself with a group of thirty highly skilled men. They were called David’s Mighty Men. If you read through the chapter you will see that these men were recognized for certain acts of bravery. Benaiah was one of these men. In fact, he was not just one of the thirty, he was better than them. And as one of the mighty men, he was noted for his bravery.

He was trustworthy (2 Sam. 23:23b).

Notice in verse 23 that Benaiah was given a place of trust in David’s entourage. David put him in charge of his guard. I think this is another way of saying that Benaiah was the captain of David’s body guards. I am not sure what the requirements are for being a secret service agent, but I imagine the president would want someone who was very trustworthy to protect him. David trusted Benaiah with this important job because he could be trusted.

He was a leader (1 Chron. 18:17).

This chapter informs us of the accomplishments of King David. It tells us about wars he fought and preparations he made for defending the country. But in the last three verses of the chapter, we find out who his chief officers were. The last person to be listed is our hero. Benaiah was chief over a group of men called the Cherethites and Pelethites. Who were these men? Perhaps this was the group of body guards whom we heard about in the previous passage. Or they may have been a group of foreigners who had joined David during the time he was running away from King Saul. In any case, Benaiah was trusted by David to lead this group of men.

He was promoted (1 Kings 4:1-4).

We know that David trusted this courageous soldier, but was he ever recognized for his service to the country? Yes, we find that, during the reign of Solomon, Benaiah was promoted to the position of commander of the host. This was like being promoted to the commanding general of the army. It was quite an honor for Benaiah, but it was also a promotion he had earned by faithfully serving King David and throughout his life.

Most people would like to be honored in front of their peers. Although there is some embarrassment involved in being honored, there is also a good feeling that someone is thankful for your service. Honor is given to those who are faithful. Our God does the same. He wants to honor those who have been faithful. But he is not as interested in one time greats. He is looking for people who will be faithful throughout their entire life. Benaiah was one of those men.

God honored his courage.

Eddie Rickenbacker was a famous WWI fighter pilot. In just two months of combat, he came away with 26 aerial victories. You would think someone like that was never afraid and yet in his book Bits & Pieces he said these words.

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”

Eddie Rickenbacker

We are never told that Benaiah feared anything. However, if he was like the rest of us, he probably faced fear on a regular basis. In 1 Chronicles 11:22-24, we read of three of his greatest tests. With the Lord’s enablement, he defeated each formidable foe.

Against two lion-like men

One on one you might have a chance to win a game of pick-up basketball. But if you have to play against two people, the odds are against you. Benaiah faced two Moabite warriors who were described as lion-like men. You can imagine that these men were known for their fierce fighting skills. But after meeting Benaiah, they were known only for meeting their match.

Against a lion

On another occasion, Benaiah killed a lion in a pit. At first glance this seems like an easy task. But as you look at the details, you find that this was not as easy as you would have thought. It was on a snowy day. Imagine trying to fight someone in the slippery snow. Then think about doing it in a pit. Apparently, Benaiah found a lion in a pit and entered the pit to kill it. Again he came out the victor.

Against a giant Egyptian

Think about some of the tall people you have met before. I usually have the advantage in basketball because of my height. But when faced with people taller than me, I am suddenly at a disadvantage. Imagine Benaiah’s disadvantage when facing this tall Egyptian. He was about seven and a half feet tall. On top of that, he was carrying a spear the size of a weaver’s beam. The point is that this man was tall and strong. But once again, Benaiah defeated this soldier. He plucked the spear out of his hand with a staff and then killed him with his own weapon.

During the Old Testament, God honored those who trusted him. It is obvious to see that Benaiah was a man who trusted the Lord for these victories. It is no wonder that the Lord included the record of his accomplishments so prominently.

Where is our faith today? Are we known for our courage in doing the Lord’s work? Or are we known as the spineless jelly fish that cannot even speak Jesus’ name in front of an unbeliever. God needs a new group of mighty men who are willing to do his work in the power he gives them. Will you be one of them?

God honored his loyalty.

What happened to Benaiah as he grew older? There is no doubt that as his body grew older, his physical abilities decreased proportionately. Did he lose his place of prominence or was there still a position open for the once mighty warrior? In the next two passages, we will see that Benaiah remained a loyal member of the kingdom.

During Absalom’s Attack (2 Sam. 17:8)

As David grew older, his mighty men stood with him through some very difficult times. When Absalom attempted to overthrow his father’s kingdom, David was saved by the advice of Hushai the Archite. When asked for his opinion, Hushai reminded Absalom that David had the mighty men with him and that they were like a bear robbed of its cubs. After hearing these words, Absalom decided to round up a larger army before attacking his father’s army. Why was that? I think it was because of the respect men like Benaiah had earned. They were not just mighty men; they were extremely loyal to their king.

During Adonijah’s Attempt (1 Kings 1:5-10)

At the end of David’s life, when it was time for him to hand over the throne to one of his sons, Adonijah decided to crown himself king. Unfortunately, Joab and Abiathar lent him their support. Adonijah threw a party for the occasion and invited lots of friends. But, there were a few important people who didn’t get an invitation. “He did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother” (10). This is a very telling statement. Adonijah already knew what Benaiah and these other men would have said. They would be loyal to David until death and would follow whomever he chose to replace him. Adonijah never succeeded and, as we saw earlier, Benaiah was eventually promoted to the position of commander of the army for King Solomon.

Conclusion

Many people are known for exciting one-time accomplishments, but very few are known for faithful service over the long haul. Benaiah is a good example of someone who dedicated his entire life for service to his king. His mighty acts were not just a one time thing. Instead, he faithfully served in the positions given him year after year and was later rewarded as a trustworthy and loyal servant.

When I think about people like Benaiah who are remembered for their faithful service, the question often pops into my mind: “For what will I be remembered?” Will I be remembered as a faithful servant of God or someone who was inconsistent. With God’s help, I want to be a Benaiah who will faithfully make a difference for God wherever I am.

Humility

If you have been born again (John 3), you know about the change God has made in you (2 Cor. 5:17). But others may not understand the difference in you. Why don’t you curse, get drunk, party, and watch R-rated movies? And when you try to explain, it may come across as pride. What people may not understand is that God changed you. When He changed you on the inside, your thoughts, speech, actions, and desires began to change. While you are thankful for God’s work in your life and can see the Holy Spirit producing the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Gal 5:22-23), others may not understand. This is why humility should be a big part of your life.

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:1-7 NKJV

Paul knew that Christians can forget where the change has come from and start taking credit for their God-given character. He reminds us to be humble, to remember where we came from. If you are honest, you know that his description of our past is accurate. We were foolish, disobedient, deceived, lustful, angry, envious, and hateful. In other words, we have nothing to be proud of in ourselves.

We need to be reminded of what God did (and is doing) in us. He saw us in our raw, sinful state and still made the choice to love us. He could have left us to wallow in our sin and its consequences. He could have judged us by his perfect standard of righteousness and condemned us to the lake of fire, but thankfully he didn’t. Instead, he loved us and chose to wash and renew us. In other words, we didn’t do anything; God did everything.

Today, if you are a Christian, remember what God has done in your life. And as you see the change he is making in you, remember to be humble. He did it … not you.

______________

Further reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Helping the Poor

How our personal experience affects our perspective.

Have you been poor?

Those who have been poor understand the feeling of hopelessness when they don’t have enough to feed their family, pay the bills, or go to the hospital.

Have you been rich?

Those who have not been poor, may not understand the seriousness of being without enough to pay the bills. They may think the problem is laziness, poor use of money, or bad decisions.

Have you become skeptical?

Those who have been lied to by beggars may wonder about everyone asking for help. Because some have lied about their need, were using the money for drugs, or were unbelievable, the skeptic doesn’t want to help anyone.

Have you become an enabler?

Those who have a big heart for the poor see the need despite the big stories and continue to give even when they find out there is a problem.

What does the OT say about poor people?

The Law

The OT law which was given to Moses is filled with commands about justice, worship, civil matters, etc. But does it say anything about the poor?

Ex. 22:25 – Lend to the poor without interest.
Ex. 23:3, 6 – Don’t be partial to or prejudiced against the poor.
Ex. 23:11 – Leave fields fallow the 7th year so poor can eat.
Lev. 19:10; 23:22 – Leave some field unharvested so the poor can glean.
Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7, 11 – Help your brothers.
Deut. 24:15 – Pay poor people daily.

The law commanded but also taught the Israelites to help poor people. Sometimes we need to be commanded to do things because we don’t have right thinking or are not often thinking about the poor.

Psalms

The psalms are songs. Why would the poor be mentioned in songs dedicated to God? Maybe it is because they often cry out to God in their distress.

Psalm 10:2 – The wicked persecute the poor.
Psalm 41:1 – You will be blessed for helping the poor.
Psalm 72:4, 12 – God gives justice to the poor.

David knew what being poor was like. When he fled from Saul, he often had very little. This kindled in him a love for the poor, a hatred for oppressors, and thankfulness to God for his provision.

Proverbs

The proverbs often contrast the rich and poor. Sometimes the poor are poor because of bad choices. Other times they are to be helped.

Prov 10:4 – Laziness leads to being poor.
Prov. 14:31 – Oppressing the poor reproaches our Maker.
Prov. 19:17 – Lending to poor is lending to God.
Prov. 21:13 – If you don’t listen to the poor, God won’t listen to your cries for help.
Prov. 21:17 – If you love pleasure, you will become poor.
Prov. 29:7 – The righteous consider the cause of the poor.

Warnings

Isa. 3:15 – God doesn’t want the poor abused.
Isa. 32:7 – God knows when poor people are lied to.
Ezek. 16:49 – Sodom ignored the poor.

What does the NT say about poor people?

Mark 12:42-43 – The poor widow gave all she had.
Luke 18:22 – The rich, young ruler was told to give to the poor.
Luke 19:8 – Zacchaeus showed change of heart by giving to the poor.
Luke 14:13 – Invite the poor to your feast.
John 12:6 – Some talk about helping the poor but just want money.
Rom. 15:26 – Some churches gave to the poor believers in Jerusalem.
1 Cor. 13:3 – Giving to the poor without love is empty.
2 Cor. 8:9 – Jesus became poor for us.
2 Cor. 9:6-9 – God loves cheerful giving and will take care of you.
Gal. 2:10 – Paul was reminded to help the poor.
James 2:2-3 – You should treat the poor and rich the same.

Principles for helping the poor

Offering work is helpful to poor people (2 Thess. 3:10).

Old Testament law required farmers to not harvest the edges of their fields so the poor would have something to eat (Lev. 19:9; 23:22; Deut. 24:19). The poor were given the opportunity to have food if they were willing to work. The principle is repeated in the New Testament (2 Thess. 3:10).

Some people just need immediate help (1 John 3:17).

This is not the answer to every problem, but it certainly makes sense. Helping people who are unwilling to work can enable laziness. But not all are in that situation. Those who are sick, elderly, overwhelmed, or working but unable to pay their bills should be helped out as we see the need if we are able to help.

Conclusion

Has this study changed your mind about the poor and your responsibility toward them? Hopefully, each of us will now consider how we can respond to poor people when they have a need. It won’t be easy, and we might get taken advantage of, but we should consider each situation carefully and wisely choose how to help.