I briefly touched on three verses in yesterday’s article. They are worthy of more consideration and more detailed treatment.
Let’s meditate on God’s love for the vulnerable and oppressed and the response he expects from us.
God’s Love for the Vulnerable
I have been reading a book by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, who have devoted 15 years to the question of why nations fail. They based their finding on historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, England, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy.
According to their findings, the most common characteristic of failed nations is the oppression of the vulnerable by the powerful elite.
On the other hand, God’s desire for humans is for justice and support of the oppressed, rather than their exploitation.
— Deuteronomy 10.17-19 – For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe,
Who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.
You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The Bible is the best interpreter of the Bible. I have listed five of thirty passages that support God’s message of love and active concern for those who are often oppressed.
(1) Exodus 22:21 – You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
(2) Leviticus 19:33-34 – When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.
The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
(3) Zechariah 7:9-10 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another;
Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
(4) Matthew 25:34-36, 40 – Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
“I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
(5) Hebrews 13:1-2 – Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
God is Big Enough
Jesus made it clear that God can supply what is needed to care for widows, orphans, and immigrants. In the Bible these people are the most vulnerable, ignored, and oppressed.
I believe Jesus’ message about giving is not limited to individuals. It applies to churches, businesses, and nations, too.
— Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
It seems that God desires to bless those who give. As people give, God gives to them so they can continue to give to others.
Is it entirely possible that the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand is an example of God’s compassion and willingness to supply what is needed.
Paul understood God’s willingness to supply the needs of those who cared for humans in need.
— Philippians 4.19 – And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
The chorus of an old hymn appropriately challenges our willingness to give with these words:
Trust Me, try Me,
Prove Me, saith the Lord of Hosts,
And see, if a blessing, Unmerited blessing,
I will not pour out on thee.
If we were to respond to God’s message of love toward the vulnerable and oppressed, what would we do?
— We can get informed about the issues that the elderly, at-risk children, and immigrants face. We can add their needs to our daily prayers.
— We can examine the Bible verses in this article and ask God to conform our lives to the principles they teach.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I discuss these verses in today’s video on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy is an excellent Bible student and lover of God. Please take a few minutes to listen to our thoughts.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.