If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. Deuteronomy 15:7-8
“The requirement of generosity toward the poor. The attitude of the Israelites toward the poor in their community was to be one of warmth and generosity. The humanitarian spirit of the address comes clearly to the forefront in these verses, for the requirement of generosity extends beyond the letter of the law and points to a proper attitude which was to characterize the people’s dealings with the poor. Note, however, that it is not charity, in the sense of almsgiving, that is advocated here; it is a charitable attitude to be expressed by lending the poor man whatever he needs.”
Peter C. Craigie in The Book of Deuteronomy (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976) 237.
Special thanks to Daily Meditations reader, Edward Spencer, for alerting me to read this text from Deuteronomy coming out of my study of the Good Samaritan.
If you want to check out my sermon on Luke 10:25-37, click to view it.
Requirement is a strong word, but it is fitting. God expects His people in the Old Testament and Christians in the New Testament to have a charitable attitude toward those in need.
How do we cultivate a charitable attitude to fulfill such a requirement? It starts with realizing all we have came to us by charis or grace. Once that sinks to our heart, it can sync with our hands and feet.
Reflect on God’s blessings to you today. Then consider how you may bless others.
I get to serve a group of leading U.S. seminary administrators today, hearing their challenges, discussing their situations and sharing insights from research.
What do you sense God has in store for you? Serving others generously is not optional. It’s why Jesus redeemed us as a people for Himself and empowers us by the Holy Spirit.