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Peter Barnes | Deuteronomy 24:19-22
GOD’S WELFARE POLICY
There is a frightening growth in welfarism (dependence on welfare) and also a growing gap between rich and poor.
1. We are to provide for the needy.
– 24:6, 10-13, 14-15
– Deut.24:19-21; Lev.19:9-10 (repeated in Lev.23:22); Ruth 2:1-3, 15-16.
– Isa.1:23; 10:1-2; 58:6-7.
– Acts 6:1-6; 2 Cor.9:7-9; Gal.2:7-10. Herbert Spencer’s ‘survival of the fittest’ is contrary to Deut.23:24-25.
2. The needy are to do what they can to obtain provisions.
– 24:19-21. Notice that the stranger, the widow and the orphan had to glean the vineyard – 2 Thess.3:10; 1 Tim.5:3-4, 8, 9-10, 16.
– Richard Stock: ‘this is the best charity, so to relieve the poor as we keep them in labour. It benefits the giver to have them labour; it benefits the commonweal to suffer no drones, nor to nourish any in idleness; it benefits the poor themselves.’
3. We are to remember God’s mercies.
– 24:22; see 24:17-18. ‘Remember’ drives the Christian – Eph.4:32; Gal.6:1; Ps.51:12-13; Eph.2:19. Know the spirit of empathy (Ps.137:1-6).
History is full of examples of the oppressed who become oppressors when they have the opportunity.