you shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. for there will never cease to be poor in the land. therefore I command you,‘you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ [deuteronomy 15:10-11]
setting the scene, “these are among the words that moses spoke to the Israel in the wilderness” after he lead them out of 400+ years of slavery in egypt [deut 1:1].
freely here in the original hebrew intends to convey certainty, as well as, abundance. freely: surely, doubtlessly, certainly.
there is no room, as pointed out in the original manuscript, to not give. this isn’t for some people to give freely but for all to give freely- to give surely- to give doubtlessly- to give generously.
God doesn’t mean to say that there will always be poor among you, so why waste your time and resources to never be able to rectify that? but he shows the endless opportunity to show generosity and the Lord‘s character as Provider.
earlier in the book of deuteronomy, as moses speaks to the israelites, he explains the importance of obeying all that God had told moses for him then to convey to the people.
and he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. and the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. [deut 6:23-24]
and emphasized again … “you shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today. And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. he will love you, bless you, and multiply you.” [deut 7: 11-13]
God had something in store so much greater than they could have ever imagined or understood at the time.
blessings may or may not be physical, but the ultimate blessing is eternal.
Jesus spoke to this in matthew 26:11 saying, “for you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”
God the Father fulfilled his covenant by showing his ultimate love for us to send his son, allowing a way to be made right before him. he gives the ultimate blessing, to be with him in eternity.
we are called to give and to give generously… but we also cannot open our hands to our left and to our right providing for other’s physical needs while missing the point… the person of Jesus right in front of us.
~ natalie schmidt