Missiology Through Scripture – Deuteronomy 15:10-11

“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

The concept that there “will never cease to be poor” flies in the face of our modern-day secular political, social, and economic crusaders. Some believe the poor are a byproduct of a corrupt economic system which purposefully oppresses the poor in order to prop up the rich. Others hypothesize the poor are a result of their own laziness or lack of drive. Here, Scripture affirms no man-made social-wellness program will ever succeed in eliminating poverty. Neither trickle-down economics, nor social welfare is the answer. God makes perfectly clear, poverty will never be abolished.

All of our man-made social and economic systems are flawed because they are orchestrated and administered by sinners. No scheme or structure of man is worthy of complete submission. Only God’s direction for humanity will ever correct the ills of mankind. Don Carson said, “It reflects the grim reality that no economic system can guarantee the abolition of poverty, because human beings operate it, human beings are greedy, human beings will keep tweaking and eventually perverting the system for personal advantage.”[1] Political parties, and social causes do not have the answer and are not worthy of being followed when compared to the eternal answers found in Jesus Christ.

The poor exist, and always will. Their lowly state provides a litmus test of obedience for God’s elect. His disciples are instructed to not only serve the poor, needy, and fellow believers but to do so generously. The poor provide a way for God’s chosen to demonstrate a unique form of mercy and justice found only in Christ. No social system or government program can’t out love or be more generous than God. Jesus Christ is the ultimate safety-net and perfect security for those who are lacking. Christians are to serve the poor from a position of love and joy and not slavish obligation.

 

[1] D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998).

About Mike

Mike, 48, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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