KNOWING GOD IS HELPING THE NEEDY
Date: May 9
Category: Faith Expressed Through Actions
"Did not your father [Josiah], as he ate and drank, do justice and righteousness [being upright and in right standing with God]? Then it was well with him. He judged and defended the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not [all] this [what it means] to know and recognize Me? says the Lord."
These verses are very powerful. They teach us that if we want to be in right standing with God, then we have to be in right standing with people. It's impossible to be in right standing with God, but not love people. That's not in line with the Scriptures. God says that we are to love everyone. If we don't love people, then we cannot say we love God.
In verse 16, we read that Johiakim's father "judged and defended the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well." Any society that does not care for the poor and the needy will eventually fall apart. God wants us to care for the poor. When we judge and defend the cause of the poor and needy, then everything will be well with us. What does it mean to defend the cause of the poor and needy? It means to help them, to give them food, shelter, etc. It says in verse 16 that this is what it means to know and recognize the Lord. People, who know God, are people who care for the poor. People, who are selfish, are the people who don't know God, don't care about God, and don't have concern for the things that concern God. Whether or not you really know God is shown in how you live your life. If you really know God, then your deeds of love will reveal that knowledge. Being right with God means being right with people as well.
If people are poor because of immorality, then you don't need to associate with them. But if they aren't immoral, and let's say they just lost their job, then you're supposed to help them. If, for example, there was a natural disaster such as a tornado or a flood and it left people in need, then you're supposed to help them. If, for example, a war took place, like it did in the Balkans, and it left people in destitute conditions, then you are to help them. If you are able to help people in need, then you are supposed to.
According to these verses, helping the poor means knowing God. Really knowing God isn't just head knowledge of God. Knowing God is moving your hands and feet to do what pleases God. A way to please God is to help the poor. So think of how you can be of help to someone in need today. People in need are people who genuinely try to get back on their feet but aren't successful. However, there are people who choose not to try at all, and in such cases, you shouldn't help them because they choose not to help themselves. But if you encounter someone who is sincerely trying to get back on their feet but are still struggling, then you ought to help them. That would be real knowledge of God. God wants you and I to show others that we have a relationship with Him by helping the poor and needy.