Discover the Financial Principles of the Bible

Lending To The Lord

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Proverbs 19:17.

When you consider the fact that we living in a very affluent society, it’s amazing that we can always come up with excuses for not giving to the poor. Moses said that we would always have the poor with us and even with great economic breakthroughs and government programs those words have held true.

“For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” Deut. 15:11.

Throughout the Scriptures we find admonitions to remember the poor in the land and yet there are many today who choose to ignore these passages. People tend to come up with a multitude of excuses justify their inaction, but let’s take a look at how the Bible would answer some of those common excuses:

I don’t know where to give
“The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.” Proverbs 29:7.

This is not only a poor excuse, but is also a poor reflection of how unconcerned you have been with the welfare of others. Job said that he went and “searched out” the cause of the poor (Job 29:16). If you don’t know where to give, the best place to start might be by giving a special offering to your church directing the money to be given to those in need.

Charitable organizations do very little anyway
“Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” Proverbs 21:13.

This excuse is often a catch-22, because charitable organizations are almost always limited by the amount of resources they have available. Since these resources are derived primarily from contributions – poor levels of contribution tends to limit their effectiveness.

I don’t have enough money to give
“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” Proverbs 28:27.

People use this excuse for not giving offerings or paying their tithes as well. They never have enough money to give to the church or to those less fortunate, but manage to indulge themselves with flat-screen TV’s and other non-essential items. The fact of the matter is (just like with tithes and offerings); you can’t afford not to give. God has already promised that He will provide for those who care for others. Shouldn’t you at least try Him and see if what He’s said is true?

My contributions won’t be enough to help
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20.

While it’s true that no one individual can solve all the needs in this world, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference to someone. If I see 100 children drowning in a lake, I might not be able to save all of them (that doesn’t mean I won’t try), but if I’m able to save even a single life then I’ve made a difference. Instead of worrying that we can’t move mountains, let’s start by focusing on the obstacles we can move.

If the Lord would ever bless me, then I could give
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” Psalms 41:1.

It’s amazing to think of how many of God’s blessings we miss out on, because we attach our pre-qualifying conditions on whether or not we will obey His Word. As if we expect our Creator to negotiate with us on the terms by which we will serve Him. The fact of the matter is that if we would just believe His Word and do what it says, He has already promised to bless us.

I already tithe on 10% of my income
“At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shall lay it up within thy gates: and the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” Deut. 14:28-29.

Moses’ law identified 3 tithes, one of which was a poor tithe. The children of Israel were required to bring up 10% of their income every 3 years to provide for the poor in the land. Many people forget this tithe and only focus on the Levitical tithe, but the oft-quoted prophet Malachi did say to, “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse”. (Mal. 3:10).

I pray for the poor
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” James 2:15-16.

As Jesus said, “these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Luke 11:42). Our responsibility as Christians doesn’t stop at praying for those in need. There are some situations in life where all you can do is pray, but there are others that require you to be actively involved.

Isn’t the government suppose to take care of the poor
“He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.” Psalms 112:9.

Every one of the scriptures referenced in this article (along with many others) all point to the fact that giving to the poor is an individual responsibility. The upside is that you stand in line to receive individual blessings for following God’s Word.

Am I really sinning by not giving to the poor
“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” Proverbs 14:21.

While many of the “sins” of the Bible are the result of doing things that you shouldn’t, there are also sins of omission. Much of Amos’ prophecy was rebuking Israel for neglecting the poor in the land. In God’s eyes, failing to help those that are less fortunate than you can be just as sinful as committing murder or adultery.

In conclusion, I hope that many of you have already established a pattern of giving in your life and hopefully this article will spark you to do even more. For those that haven’t “considered the cause of the poor”, make the commitment to do so today. As Christians we should be striving to live every aspect of God’s Word. And I’m confident that the returns on lending to the Lord will yield more than we could possibly hope for.

Filed in: Family Finance, Stewardship, Tithing

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