We have a responsibility to care for the poor, the widows, and the orphans, but this doesn't negate our responsibility to worship God and live godly principles in our lives.
[Darris McNeely] I recently did a BT Daily talking about the problems that a lot of employers are having, not being able to hire people because of a lot of the government checks that are going out. I ended with a Scripture in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3, where the Apostle Paul said that if a person doesn't work he shouldn't eat, and that we should be willing and able to work when we were able, and that that would alleviate some of the problems that employers are seeing today. I want to comment a little bit further because I don't wanna leave the impression that we should neglect those who are truly in need and talk a little bit about something that we haven't thought about before in this regard.
In the Gospels, there's a story of Jesus Christ coming into the village of Bethany. And there was a woman there that anointed Christ's feet with a jar of alabaster oil. It's described in Mark Chapter 14:3 through 9. This was a very expensive product, alabaster oil, that she took and poured over His head and anointed Him with. And the disciples rebuked her because she was wasteful. That money they said could have been taken and used for the poor. But here's what Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She's done a good work for Me for you have the poor with you always. And whenever you wish, you may do them good, but Me, you do not have always." He didn't think there was anything wrong in taking what would amount to have been thousands of dollars worth of expensive oil and using it to anoint Him.
There's a lesson there in what Jesus says as we look at how we use our goods, how we take care of those that are needy, and have a proper approach toward those who are poor. The Bible in many, many places, says that we are to take care of the poor and to give and provide for people who may be down on their luck, going through a rough patch, a widow, an orphan. It's a very clear teaching in many different ways about that.
What Jesus was saying here in Mark's account, was that there is a time in our worship of God to be a little bit extravagant. When you look at the festivals, when you look at the offerings in the Old Testament, and you look at how God tells His people, His disciples to come before Him on Sabbath, some festival times and worship Him, there is a great expense of money spent toward worshiping God. Look at the entire sacrificial system of the temples in the Old Testament. That cost a lot of money for those and the foods and the offerings and everything to worship God. There is a time to spend in an appropriate way to worship God, like this woman in Bethany was doing, and there is a time and a way and a means to help those who are in need.
The Bible has many deep, sustainable programs meant to alleviate poverty in a culture, a society based and founded on God's law, God's way of life, the Jubilee year, the years of release, even dealing with how to take care of people who are temporarily out of work or in need of some help. And there were goods and services traded back and forth until a person could then once again be on their own self-sustaining within the community.
And so, when we look at our current world situation and the American economy, and the employers not being able to find enough help because people are getting government checks and they're making more on a government check than they would if they were gainfully employed, something's out of kilter. But let's not mistake it for what the Bible really does tell us and show us and how to use money to take care of the poor, to worship God, and to use it in a way that honors God and His way of life completely.
Yes, Paul said," If a man will not work, he will not eat." And that is a principle. But we also are to take care of those that are needy and the poor, and get the right balance, most of all, get the right system, all based on God's Word.
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