In our day, some Christians have contempt for poor people and refuse to give them money. However, Deuteronomy commands us to be very generous to them.
In Deuteronomy chapter 15:7-11, God teaches us how we are to treat poor people. This brief little section is rich in meaning and worth examining.
IS THERE A POOR PERSON IN YOUR CITY?
VERSE 7. If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother;
one of your brothers. The Hebrew word is אַחֶ֙יךָ֙ (“’a·ḥe·ḵā”). It means brothers, companions, kinsmen, countrymen, relatives. In other words, just about anybody.
within any of your gates. That is, in your city. No matter where you live, there will be poor people there.
WHAT MUST YOU DO?
VERSE 8. but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, which he lacks.
open your hand to him. We are not permitted to avoid a poor person. We are required to give them something. But how much?
sufficient for his need. We cannot give poor people a trivial amount. Our gift to them must be sufficient to meet their need.
VERSE 10. You shall surely give, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; because that for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work, and in all that you put your hand to.
You shall surely give. We are not given an option. We are called to give.
your heart shall not be grieved. Some people are naturally stingy. They almost grieve when they give away money. This is no longer an option for them. They must overcome their innate selfishness and find a way to rejoice as they give away money to poor people.
VERSE 11. For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land.
the poor will never cease out of the land. Poor people will always be among us. That is not an excuse to ignore them. Instead ….
open your hand. Even is the stream of poor people asking for help never ends, we are still called to open our hand to them.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.