Charity by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images
Charity by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Wherever you may go, whatever Country you may travel Christian’s are usually willing to outstretch a helping hand to those in need.  Growing up, I learned this was the right thing to do.  Whenever I would ask why, though, no one could ever really answer the question “why?” This question usually was responded to with the standard responses of “It Just Is” or “It’s What Jesus Would Do.”  Now that I am older and in an in-depth study of God’s Word daily, I am unable to accept these childhood dismissals.

I knew the New Testament, especially the works of Jesus and the disciples were loaded with works of charity and betterment of the less fortunate, but I felt profoundly confident there must be more to it.

Surprising, consulting the topical index of my bible and other references I was not able to find the word charity in the listings.  I decided then to look for Hospitality in the tropical index.  Wow, all the references were from the New Testament; I was surprised.  I could not allow myself to be content with no references to this in the Old Testament.  I placed it in God’s hands to point the way.  I was doing my random reading in the early morning hours on a sleepless night reading The Song of Songs.  After this, the breeze from my ceiling fan turned the page to the Book of Isaiah.  Curiously, I looked at the first passage my eyes locked on to at the top of the page.

Helping Hand - CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Isaiah Chapter 1, Verse 17. NIV 
Learn to do good.  Seek justice.  Help the oppressed.  Defend the orphan.  Fight for the rights of widows.

Once again, I placed my questions in the hands of the Lord, and he delivered in his way.

God was very displeased with the Tribe of Judah and Jerusalem.  In Isaiah Chapter 1, Through visions given to Isaiah, God Instructed that he had enough of burnt offerings, their fasting,  and festivals and that even their most pious meetings were sinful and false.  Instead, God instructed in

Isaiah 1:16. NIV
Wash yourselves and be clean!  Let me no longer see your evil deeds.  Give up your wicked ways.

After verse 17, God explains that he can make them a clean as new-fallen snow or white as wool if they only obey and let him help them.  He continues to warn them if they do not, he will destroy them through their enemies.  They didn’t listen very well, and the land was destroyed by war and turmoil.

Honestly, that is enough to motivate me to care about those in need.

Intrigued though, I walked further back into the Old Testament.

My search I’m sure was not all-inclusive in terms of relevant scripture.  These are the passages I found

Leviticus 19:10 (NIV)
10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 25:35 (NIV)
35 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.

Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)
21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

It’s safe to say that God has always wanted us to look out for our fellow humans, and care for those in need.

So remember, help where you can, even the smallest of contributions can be enough to change someone’s life, and don’t judge those on hard times because in the blink of an eye you could be that person one day too.  God is Love, so Love Like God!

Food for Thought,

Pastor Steve