Thursday, 31 July 2014

Care For Them

KEY VERSE: “And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:10).
The phrase, “God’s preferential option for the poor” was coined by some religious scholars. This, they use to describe the special attention God pays to the poor and the disadvantaged as reflected in both the Old and New Testaments. Truly, the poor easily gets God’s attention because of their disposition that befits the grace of God. But in a world that runs on the principle of “the survival of the fittest,” who cares for the poor? Even a pastor of a gospel church was heard sometime ago announcing to his congregation that his church was not for the poor. How absurd!
In today’s text, we find sundry ceremonial and moral precepts God gave to the children of Israel through Moses. They contain principles that should get us sure-footed on the path of righteousness. Israel was reminded that they were dealing with a holy God and as such were expected to be holy themselves. Even so are we, that are by redemption affiliated to the same God of holiness expected to be holy. This holiness consists in our duties to God and to man.
Verses 9 and 10, however, draw attention to God’s concern for the poor and the disadvantaged. The Jews were required to deliberately leave their corn-fields and vineyards after harvesting for the poor to pick up the leftover. God expects the piety of His people to incorporate benevolence - making provision for the poor and needy.
The people of the world may continue with their greed, avarice and covetousness, but those who have tasted of the grace of God and in whose hearts the love of God is shed abroad have no excuse to neglect this duty of caring for the poor and disadvantaged. Look around, see the poor and, as much as it lies in you, help put a smile on their faces. Indeed, when you share your blessings with the less privileged, those blessing become multiplied. In attending to the poor though, let’s strike a balance. Don’t become a god to anyone and do not allow your benevolence to promote idleness.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Holiness does not make us insensitive to people’s need.

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