A Calling to Care
1. Underline all the phrases that tell you how God feels about the poor and what he does for them.
Job 34:19: He shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of His hands.
Job 34:28: They caused the cry of the poor to come before him, so that he heard the cry of the needy.
Ps. 14:6: You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
Ps. 35:10: Who is like you, O Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.
Ps. 68:10: From your bounty, O God,you provided for the poor.
Ps. 72:12-14: For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.
Ps.140:12: I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
Ps. 146:7: He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
Is. 11:4: With righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
Is.25:4: You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
2. Write a paragraph summarizing what you learned about God’s heart for the poor.
3. In what ways do your own attitudes and actions toward the poor reflect God’s?
4. In what ways do your attitudes and actions toward the poor differ from Gods?
Mark of Righteousness
5. Proverbs 29:7 says that “the righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” What evidence do the following Scriptures give that the person mentioned was a righteous person?
Job (Job 29:12,16; 30:25; 31:16-23)
The Proverbs 31 woman (Prov. 31:20)
Josiah (Jer. 22:16)
A righteous man (Ezk. 18:16)
Tabitha (Acts 9:36)
Cornelius (Acts 10:4)
The Believer and the Poor
6. Jot down a few ideas about how believers today can fulfill each of the following commands concerning the poor. Include influencing public policy as well as “hands-on” aid. Be creative: For example, you might apply Lev. 19:10 by donating unneeded clothing and household items to charity rather than selling them.
Lev. 19:10 (See also Ex.23:10-11, Lev. 23:22.)
Dt. 15:11 (See also Dt. 15:7,1 Jn. 3:17-18)
Ps. 82:3-4 (See also Prov. 31:9, Jer. 22:3)
7. The Apostle James chastised believers who treat the poor in the church with less honour than the rich. He wrote, “Has not God chosen those who are poor… to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor.” (See Jas. 2:2-6) Believers today may discriminate against the poor by
Choosing only financially successful people to serve as elders, teachers, or board members.
Holding church functions (retreats, youth ski trips, etc.) that are too expensive for low income members.
Giving special honour to those who make large (as opposed to sacrificial) donations to ministry.
Can you think of other examples of discrimination?
8. What would it look like for you and your church to treat people of every economic status equally, as God does?
Promises for the Merciful
9. What does God promise to those who help the poor?
10. Clearly, helping and defending the poor is not an optional part of being Jesus’ disciple. Take a few minutes to pray about your own attitudes toward and involvement with the poor. What do you sense God is saying to you?