"If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,
but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
In a recent telephone conversation with our 6 year old eldest grand-daughter, Gill had a discussion regarding old clothes and what to do with them. Ella — for ‘twas she — had firm views on the subject and declared that old clothes must be given to the poor, because “their clothes are small.” That at least, was the gist of the story.
While this is a charming use of words in a novel way — just the sort of thing that all grandparents love to hear — it also showed a young girl with a caring heart. And the more that I thought about Ella’s expression, the more I felt that there was a truth in those words, depending on your understanding of the word ‘small’ — for amongst the meanings of the root of the word ‘poor’ is ‘rest content’; to ‘be acquiescent’; or in other words, to have little or no desire — or ability — to make for change or improvement in circumstances. Smallness of mind.
In a spiritual sense, the ‘poor man of your brethren’ is without the willingness to reach higher in faith and holiness. Our clothes — our garments — represent The Lord’s covering hand upon us, so if we rest content where we are — ‘what need have I for the deeper life in Christ?’ — then I limit my covering from Him and I wallow in my spiritual poverty.
Thus, in Deuteronomy 15:7-8 we are exhorted to do all that we can to help our brother out of his poverty and into the full rich life in Jesus, by praying and encouraging without condemnation. If the ‘poor man’ responds, he will find that his clothes — God’s covering — will grow at a greater rate than he needs, because when the Lord gives, He does so abundantly.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to appreciate Your abundant provision and not set ill-conceived limits on Your promises. You are greater than we can understand and only our pride stands in the way of Your mighty blessings. Lead us deeper into the relationship with You, and let our garments be garments of praise and thanksgiving, so that we do not think in a small way, but glory in the riches of Your presence.
Meditate On These Things
1 SAMUEL 2:6-8
"The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.
"For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's,
And He has set the world upon them.
Today’s song is about peace, love and joy which is ours when we embrace the greatness of God.
PEACE LIKE A RIVER IN MY SOUL — Listener Kids
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on LOVE
GEORGE and GILL STEWART