What would our world be like if just within our own countries we released people of their debts every 7 years? Deut 15 talks about the practice of releasing the debts of your fellowman every 7 years and if they are slave to you to also release them after 7 years. First of all, there would be more hope and less despair. If a person was in debt, he would have hope that it was not forever. Just think of the people today who are slaves in a financial sense. I think we would also feel more accountable to help others make wise choices financially. How many loans these days are given when the lender knows many of the people can't afford what they are buying? Credit card companies might be a little wiser on limits they put on their cards.
Another topic in this chapter is the poor among the Israelites. In verse 4, Mose says that there should be no poor among you. Wouldn't we like that? But then in verse 11, it says there will always be the poor. There should not be any poor but there will always be the poor. I guess that is the more realistic picture in a fallen world. So what do I do? Since there will always be poor, should I just do nothing or should I take the view that I can do something to help? I hope I am living out the later view. In our information society, we are easily bombarded with calls for help from both near and far. When I go to the bazaar, I am approached by beggars wanting money. What do I do? Where do I give? I am not sure the perfect answer to that question but here is what our family is doing. I don't give money on the street but will give a piece of fruit or bread if I have just bought some. If I gave money to one, I would be surrounded by many more and it would not be a safe situation. In place of this, our guard has a cup with coins in it to give to those who come to our gate. He is a local and so has a better sense then I do of whether the request is valid. We have also chosen to invest in projects that help the poor by providing food and education. We trust that the money is being used wisely and invested in the people they are serving. Lastly we have locals who are apart of our lives that are often in need. We are blessed to be able to help them when we can whether it be providing them work or some other way. The poor is an issue I still need to pray about and see if I am doing what God wants me to do. I also need to be listening to God's voice and give as He directs. The poor may always be with us but maybe because of the love of God's people there can be less poor in this world.
Dear God, Thank you for your heart for all people. Give me a heart for those less fortunate. Give me wisdom on how and where to give. May I be generous in my giving as you were generous in giving us all things including your Son. Amen