Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Though many scriptures were addressed in the Tuesday study, these two open the door to this blog title, creating great questions and opening up great dialogue. We began by defining, orphan, widows, and the poor, which placed an important backdrop on the lesson. As one stated, the is a difference between poor and poor mouth (also pronounced “po’ mouth”). Though we acknowledged that there are abusers of people and systems, the Bible brings us to the important realization that there are some that are truly poor and in need, and informs us that we have a responsibility to share our wealth with them.
Psalms 68:5 became the base of our study, as it describes God as “father to the fatherless and advocate for widows.” This reveals God’s character to us. And a father is more than an inheritance; He wants to be the provider, protector, sustain-er, source, teacher etc to those who are without a covering. Though He covers us all, He makes the effort to ensure that the needs of those who don’t have an earthly source have their needs met. He does this not by throwing money from heaven, but by instructing His people as to His desires, and places the responsibility on those He is blessing and caring for, to extend the same hand and favor shown to them, to those that are in need. A revelation shared by PastorJDO3, “We are not just to study God’s character, but are called to emulate it!” Many times, we see what God would do, and then take the perspective that we are not God, but in this, we are not only instructed to, but we find that Jesus set and example and a mark for us to shoot for in His time here, that lets us know that we have a responsibility not just to live from our wealth and to store up our wealth, but that we have to see it as an avenue to do the work of the Lord.
Doing this work, brings us to our title, “Enabling verses Disabling”. In sharing our wealth, we open doors for the divine to minister and direct people towards His will for their lives. As those in need pray, their confirmation is often found in the amount of people that are willing to listen to the Holy Spirits directing to be generous. This reminds people that despite their circumstances, God is still working and speaking, and gives hope to those who would otherwise be hopeless.
On the contrary, when there are people in need that we neglect to render aide to, we disable God’s ability to build up hope and faith in Him and His ability to speak and to provide. Their prayers will seemingly go unanswered, when the truth is; the request was heard, the instruction was given, but the not followed. Many opportunities are missed because of our selfish behavior, and our disobedience to God’s Words and the leading and pulling of the Holy Spirit to act and take a stand for justice.
Wealth is a blessing and a responsibility! We must make sure our wealth doesn’t become our treasure. We have to insure that we don’t allow it to become our God, our source, our peace, our comfort, our lord; remembering that God is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24), and that anything that stands in front of Him shall be tested and burned down!
In conclusion, our enabling conversation continued into praying for discernment. There are some that need our financial wealth, and others that need our financial structure. There are many that are in a poverty-like state because they have bad stewardship principles, not a lack of resources. With discernment, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us the best way to help those God places in our path!