Missiology Through Scripture – Leviticus 25:35

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.” – Leviticus 25:35

God’s people are to take care of their own brothers and sisters. We are indeed responsible for the wellbeing of each other. God’s elect are to care both for the needs of foreigners and their own people. Those who have been blessed by God with his resources are to pass God’s blessings of food, lodging, and finances onto those who are struggling.

The Lord has always provided for the physical needs of his elect. The blessings are not always distributed equally, and God calls upon those who have, to serve those who are temporarily without. God requires his disciples to show the mercy he has given to us, to be given to others. Roy Gingrich said, “God mercifully brought the Israelites out of Egypt and freely blessed them. They were to show the same mercy to their poor brethren.”[1] All mercy and grace comes from God, and we should not hoard them for ourselves.

The self-sufficiency mentality of the Western culture does not always parallel that of a biblical model of serving the poor. Scripture commands the Christian church to serve those who are suffering. Our treatment of the homeless, widows, and orphans is important to God. The Lord calls upon his disciples to care for those inside and outside the body of Christ.

Our job is not to teach self-sufficiency and limit dependency. Those responsibilities are the domain of God’s sanctifying work in every person. Our job rests in providing unconditional love, mercy, and justice to those who are in need. With the resources provided by God, his disciples are to provide for the poor, in order to bring glory to God.

The poor have been given to us by the wisdom of God. They are our responsibility and reflect on the condition of the new heart Christians have been given. We are to love them all, and let God sort them out.


[1] Roy E. Gingrich, The Book of Leviticus (Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing, 2003), 56.

One thought on “Missiology Through Scripture – Leviticus 25:35”

  1. Mike, would you say this is in conflict with “When Helping Hurts.” If not, is there a balance?

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