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Kindness for the Poor

John Collins06/12/2012
After the instructions were given for the Sabbath in Leviticus 25, provisions in the Law were made for the poor among the children of Israel.

If a brother was unable to maintain himself among the children of Israel, they were instructed to invite him in and support him as if he were a stranger and a sojourner.  They were to let the poor brother live in their dwelling and not take advantage of him.  

No money was to be lent to the brother with interest, and no food given him for profit.  They were reminded, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God."

If the brother becomes so poor that he sold himself as a slave to their household, they were not allowed to make him serve.  The poor brother could work with them as a hired worker in the same way they would treat a sojourner.  He would serve until the year of the jubilee and then with his family be free to leave.  

They were not to rule over him ruthlessly, but fear God.  

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we help the poor?  When we do help the poor, do we do it for profit?  Do we make them feel forever indebted to us, or do we help them freely?  Do we treat them with the same respect as we would a stranger in our house?  Do we even treat the strangers with respect?