Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, April 02, 2009
But There Shouldn’t Be
I was reading something kind of sad this week. It was in the book of Deuteronomy, which is sort of like Moses’ farewell speech to the Israelites. The Lord had already said that Moses would not be going into the Promised Land with the rest of the people, so when they were almost there and were camped out on the very threshold of Canaan, Moses unloaded everything else he had to say. This speech, which lasted 34 chapters, was full of instructions about what life in the Promise should look like; and in chapter 15, he said, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” To me this just seems sad… it seems sad that after all those hundreds of years of slavery, God’s people were finally going to enter the land of milk and honey and enjoy God’s blessing, but still there were going to be people who didn’t have enough to make it, and that’s not all…
See, Deuteronomy 15 is a chapter about how every so often (7 years to be exact) all debts were to be canceled so that people had a chance to start over. Mistakes were to be forgiven and I.O.U’s ripped up. It was like a do over for the unfortunate; and by the way, who doesn’t need a second chance? Well, right in the middle of this section (and right before he says there will always be poor people in the land) he says, “There should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, He will richly bless you.” Do you see what’s going on here? First he says, “There should be no poor people in the Promised Land,” and then he turns around right after that and says, “There will always be poor people though.” I just think that’s sad! It’s like he’s saying, “There will always be poor people, but there shouldn’t be… because I’m going to bless everyone.”
If God was going to richly bless everyone but there would still be poor people, then the only explanation is that some people wanted more than they needed. Humanitarian organizations tell us that our planet has the resources to provide every person on earth with enough to eat and drink, but thousands and thousands die every day because they don’t have enough to drink or eat… isn’t that a mess?
I was looking around on Compassion International’s website this morning and they have a place where you can click on pictures of poverty stricken kids who need someone to sponsor them and you can read about them. Jagruti is a six-year-old girl who lives in India. She carries the water her family uses in her tiny little hands and her favorite thing to do is play hide and seek and jump rope. She needs help! There is a boy in Ethiopia named Akalu and he’s seven. He loves soccer and playing marbles. He runs errands and helps in the kitchen. He lives in a region devastated by AIDS and he’s been waiting for a sponsor for six months! There is a ten-year-old boy in Ecuador named Luis whose favorite activities include soccer, swimming and singing…
It only takes 32 dollars a month to sponsor a child through Compassion. They get food, water, medicine, education and the Gospel of Jesus. It’s the best dollar a day you will ever spend. There will always be poor people among us. There shouldn’t be, but there will be, so let’s open our hands toward our brothers and sisters.