Deuteronomy 15:11

The scripture for today is Deuteronomy 15:11


Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying, you shall open your hand wide unto your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land.


When the children of Israel were delivered out of the land of Egypt, they took everything they wanted from the Egyptians. They left the country carrying the wealth of the Egyptians with them. When they entered the Promised Land, they still had most of what they had carried from Egypt. In addition, they had used some of the wealth of Egypt to construct the Tabernacle in the wilderness. The Lord had preserved them for forty years in the wilderness and although they wandered, all of their needs were met as they relied upon God for their provisions.  


Upon entering the land of Canaan, each tribe was allocated territory according to their assignments. As with any free market system, some became prosperous while others were relegated to lesser degrees of prosperity as their gifts, talents and work ethic dictated. Some of the people became very rich and some became poor. God included in His instructions to the people provisions to take care of the poor. Every seven years, there was to be a release of those who had come into servitude and every fifty years there was a jubilee, a year when all property was returned to the original owners. In addition, God gave commands in His law for the people to be generous to those who were poor and needy. The presence of the poor in the land allowed the people to demonstrate the qualities of charity and compassion. It was as if God was allowing them to be instruments of His love through meeting the needs of their fellow man. Jesus said to those who thought it was a waste of precious ointment for the repentant woman to use it on His feet: "For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always." Mark 14:7 In His words the Lord tells two things: First, the poor will always be in the land; Second, we should do good to them.


Unselfish compassion comes from God.  As we, by His Spirit, express His heart we will not only give words of love and grace, we will do works of love and grace. We will open our hands wide to the poor and help meet the needs of the needy.


God bless you as you continue in His service.