God’s Anti-Poverty Program

Dickens’ “Scrooge” is not only rich but stingy. He is the epitome of stingy because he held his money close to his heart. Through the ghost of Christmas past Scrooge is left with a question; will he remain stingy or become generous?

The lesson could have come from Deuteronomy 15!

Truly “there will never cease to be some poor people in the land” but Moses doesn’t stop there. He tells the Israelites of God’s command to open their hands to their fellow Israelites who are needy and poor in the land.

God does not give us a guarantee of material prosperity but He does give us ways to help those in need. We are to live out the message of God’s love by caring for the orphans and widows because they have lost a breadwinner. [James 1] To the exploited we are to offer judicial assistance. [Lev 19] To the undisciplined, we are to remind them that if they are unwilling to work, they should not expect to be fed at the hand of others who have worked. [2Thess 3] The disciples left all to spread the gospel and today those who leave and serve in the missions field need our prayers and financial means.

How does this work on-line? We can offer prayers and a listening ear to those in need and then direct them to the proper avenues where they can be helped. We must be wise and discerning however just as Hebrews 5:14 reminds us or as Jesus said, “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Matt 10:16]

The Principle is clear: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. [2Cor 9] Scrooge heeded the lesson and became a generous benefactor of others.

What is God calling you to do? 

Watch Out for “I”!

As children, we played a game called follow the leader. A person is chosen and the followers mimic the leader’s actions. If you fail to follow you are eliminated from the game. In Numbers 16 we find one man, Korah, who challenges the leadership of Moses. Korah, like some, usurped the leadership by placing himself in the “I” position. When “I” gets in the way the ego is puffed up and we begin to say:

I know better than God.

God had already chosen, anointed and proven that Moses was the leader. Yet Korah was unsatisfied. He wanted to be the new leader of the Israelites and so he gathered the Reubenites to join him. It began with a simple murmuring which escalated into a full roar of mutiny.  It was really not that they were against Moses but against the Lord Himself. Jude warns us about challenging the Lord’s anointed: “Woe to them!” Jude goes on to say the real problem is greed and that was Korah’s problem as well. The consequences of his failed leadership were that he, his family and those who followed him were eliminated and the leader remained firmly in the place.

Some lessons to learn; Moses shows us his character of humility in vs 4 “he fell down with his face to the ground.” Korah shows us his character when he said my way is right and God’s way is wrong.

Rebellion is easy, humility and submission to the Lord’s anointed is hard.

Numbers 16-17