READING: Isaiah 32-33, Colossians 1
“. . . to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.”
My generation, I regret to admit, didn’t talk much about caring for the poor. We were so concerned about sacrificing evangelism for the social gospel or claiming salvation by works that we neglected the Bible’s teachings about caring for others. Many of us have since recognized our failure, particularly as we see the recurrent Bible calls to minister to the poor and needy.
Isaiah 32, a chapter that speaks of results when a righteous ruler reigns, includes one of those passages. The one that Isaiah labels a “fool” is one who, among other evidences of sinfulness, cares not for the poor around him: “For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink” (Isa. 32:6). His heart is filled with sin, he misleads regarding the things of God, and he ignores the hungry and thirsty in his midst; that is, his lack of commitment to God is also evident in his lack to commitment to the needy. The “scoundrel” even “plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right” (Isa. 32:7). Such will not be the case for the noble man, however, who “plans noble things, and on noble things he stands” (Isa. 32:8). When righteousness reigns, the people know the difference between the foolish and the noble—and the truly noble help bring good to others.
Jesus, of course, was clear about our responsibility to minister to the poor and needy (Matt. 25:31-46). If we claim to be His followers, ministering to others is not optional; it’s the required work of those who are truly His sheep. So much should it be a part of our existence, in fact, that we don’t even think about it when we’re doing it—it’s just the natural work of noble people.
- Don’t miss the poor among you today.
- Sacrificially share out of God’s blessings in your life.
PRAYER: “Father, You have been good to me. Grant me faith to give sacrificially to others today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 34-36, Colossians 2