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by Wayne Blank
Who Does The Bible Say We Should Feel Sorry For?
Concern for those in need is a very "Christian" attribute (although Christians certainly have no monopoly on it - most religions practice helping the needy). But how often are those in apparent need truly needy? Are they in need because of their inability to work or to find work, or are they in need because of their refusal to work or be responsible enough to hold a job? How many are in need through no fault of their own, and how many are in need due to every fault of their own because they refuse to repent of wrong ways? What does the Bible say about it, and what does the Bible say we should do about it?
Help the truly needy:
"If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which The Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be ... For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land." (Deuteronomy 15:7-8,11 RSV)
Encourage the lazy and irresponsible to do better:
"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond, and want like an armed man" (Proverbs 6:6-11 RSV)
Fact Finder: What did Peter say about those who "go back and wallow in it"?