06 September 2017

Old Testament Laws Regarding the Poor

A1 God’s concern for the poor and why
B1 Concern
C1 Verses
D1 Deuteronomy 24:21-22 GNB  When you have gathered your grapes once, do not go back over the vines a second time; the grapes that are left are for the foreigners, orphans, and widows.  (22)  Never forget that you were slaves in Egypt; that is why I have given you this command.
D2 Exodus 22:21-27 GNB  "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner; remember that you were foreigners in Egypt.  (22)  Do not mistreat any widow or orphan.  (23)  If you do, I, the LORD, will answer them when they cry out to me for help,  (24)  and I will become angry and kill you in war. Your wives will become widows, and your children will be fatherless.  (25)  "If you lend money to any of my people who are poor, do not act like a moneylender and require him to pay interest.  (26)  If you take someone's cloak as a pledge that he will pay you, you must give it back to him before the sun sets,  (27)  because it is the only covering he has to keep him warm. What else can he sleep in? When he cries out to me for help, I will answer him because I am merciful.
D3 Deuteronomy 24:14-15 GNB  "Do not cheat poor and needy hired servants, whether they are Israelites or foreigners living in one of your towns.  (15)  Each day before sunset pay them for that day's work; they need the money and have counted on getting it. If you do not pay them, they will cry out against you to the LORD, and you will be guilty of sin.
D4 Proverbs 19:17 GNB  When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the LORD, and the LORD will pay you back.
D5 Ecclesiastes 5:8 GNB  Don't be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by someone higher, and both are protected by still higher officials.
C2 Comments
D1 God shows concern and compassion. He commands all, if able, to help them.
D2 Israelites were to be helped economically and socially for sure, but the non-Israelites, Gentiles, the foreigners, were to be helped also.
D3 God takes a dim view of those who are able to help in these ways but refuse.
D4 God becomes angry when he sees employers cheat their employees of their wages, when government officials oppress the poor and treat the rich differently, and when the lender knows that a pledge will hurt the life of the person and their family.
B2 Taxes for the poor
C1 Verses
D1 Deuteronomy 14:28-29 GNB  At the end of every third year bring the tithe of all your crops and store it in your towns.  (29)  This food is for the Levites, since they own no property, and for the foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your towns. They are to come and get all they need. Do this, and the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.
D2 Deuteronomy 26:12-13 GNB  "Every third year give the tithe—a tenth of your crops—to the Levites, the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows, so that in every community they will have all they need to eat. When you have done this,  (13)  say to the LORD, 'None of the sacred tithe is left in my house; I have given it to the Levites, the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows, as you commanded me to do. I have not disobeyed or forgotten any of your commands concerning the tithe.
D3 Deuteronomy 15:9-10 GNB  Do not refuse to lend them something, just because the year when debts are canceled is near. Do not let such an evil thought enter your mind. If you refuse to make the loan, they will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be held guilty.  (10)  Give to them freely and unselfishly, and the LORD will bless you in everything you do.
D4 Exodus 23:10-12 GNB  "For six years plant your land and gather in what it produces.  (11)  But in the seventh year let it rest, and do not harvest anything that grows on it. The poor may eat what grows there, and the wild animals can have what is left. Do the same with your vineyards and your olive trees.  (12)  "Work six days a week, but do no work on the seventh day, so that your slaves and the foreigners who work for you and even your animals can rest.
D5 Leviticus 19:9-11 GNB  "When you harvest your fields, do not cut the grain at the edges of the fields, and do not go back to cut the heads of grain that were left.  (10)  Do not go back through your vineyard to gather the grapes that were missed or to pick up the grapes that have fallen; leave them for poor people and foreigners. I am the LORD your God.  (11)  "Do not steal or cheat or lie.
D6 Deuteronomy 15:1 GNB  "At the end of every seventh year you are to cancel the debts of those who owe you money.
C2 Comments
D1 There was a special tax taken every three years that was specifically collected for the poor. This included Israelites and foreigners living in that land.
D2 Those that had means could not refuse to make a loan to the poor. Israelites could not be charged interest. Those that had the means could not have bad attitudes about lending either.
D3 Every seventh year, the land could not be tilled or farmed. What grew there was allowed for both owner and the hungry. They could gather for themselves but could not gather enough to carry it away (they might sell it, instead of satisfying their hunger).
D4 The corners of the field were to left as food for the poor and hungry. The field could not be gone over a second time for the same reason.
D5 Stealing was condemned by God. Stealing could be taking from them or not allowing them to have.
D6 Debts were to be cancelled every seven years.
B3 Duties
C1 Verses
D1 Psalms 41:1 GNB  Happy are those who are concerned for the poor; the LORD will help them when they are in trouble.
D2 Psalms 72:2-4 GNB  so that he will rule over your people with justice and govern the oppressed with righteousness.  (3)  May the land enjoy prosperity; may it experience righteousness.  (4)  May the king judge the poor fairly; may he help the needy and defeat their oppressors.
D3 Proverbs 17:5 GNB  If you make fun of poor people, you insult the God who made them. You will be punished if you take pleasure in someone's misfortune.
D4 Proverbs 22:9 GNB  Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it.
D5 Proverbs 28:3-6 GNB  Someone in authority who oppresses poor people is like a driving rain that destroys the crops.  (4)  If you have no regard for the law, you are on the side of the wicked; but if you obey it, you are against them.  (5)  Evil people do not know what justice is, but those who worship the LORD understand it well.  (6)  Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest.
D6 Isaiah 58:7-8 GNB  Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.  (8)  "Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side.
D7 Psalms 112:9 GNB  He gives generously to the needy, and his kindness never fails; he will be powerful and respected.
C2 Comments
D1 The Lord is happy when the poor are helped.
D2 A good leader, in God’s judgment, judges the poor the same as he judges the rich, is aware and helps the poor, and does not approve when the people are oppressed by corrupt people.
D3 It is wrong in God’s sight to mock the poor.
D4 There are blessings in sharing with the poor.
D5 Leaders who oppress the poor will have a special judgment and punishment from God.
D6 Being poor and honest is better than being rich and a liar.
D7 As much as we are able, we are to help the poor with what we have.
D8 God notices how we help or don’t help people. It will not give salvation, as salvation cannot be earned.

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