May 3, 2017

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

It is fascinating that social welfare is specified in the Law of Moses. It’s also fascinating that the provision for it was to come from what had been specified as to be given to God. As I keep being reminded, God is never at a loss for supply, financial or otherwise. He tells us to give to Him because it is to our benefit that we do so, but God Himself has no need of what we give. He therefore specifies what is to be done with what we have given to Him, and it includes not only the operation of the Church but also supplying the needs of those who cannot supply for themselves. In God’s economy, the government has no business being involved in social welfare; it is to be done by believers as unto the Lord. I am reminded of Jesus’ famous parable of the sheep and the goats, in which he specified, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) We are never to think that we are “buying God’s blessings” when we help the poor, but we are to look at opportunities to help the poor as opportunities to serve God. In America today, welfare payments have been used systematically to destroy the family structure of Blacks in particular, destroying motivation and the sense of self-worth. That should be sufficient evidence right there to get the government out of the whole process. It would take at least a generation to correct, but thankfully one of the people newly in charge of the government program is a man who overcame the government system in a big way in his own life, and he is a committed Christian to boot. The situation is indeed horrible, but there is hope.

I have personally benefited from government welfare programs, so I’m not speaking from a high horse. Medicaid paid just about all of the expenses when our younger daughter was born, and I am grateful. However, it would have been much better if there had been an active program in our church at the time to deal with such things. I have been involved in “God’s supply chain” in various ways over the years, and it is always a blessing to me to be able to do that. At the same time I know full well that wisdom is called for: cash is seldom the right answer in meeting needs. I have supplied food, clothing, and bus and train tickets, but seldom cash (though it has happened). I am to seek God for whom to help how, so that my good intentions won’t end up reinforcing destructive behavior. I am not to give just to feel good about myself, but as unto God as He directs.

Father, there are so many things that are “above my pay grade,” but nothing that is above Yours. Help me listen obediently to You, regardless of what society or my flesh tell me, so that I may be Your agent to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and set people free to enter Your kingdom, Your family, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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