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  1. Help the poor, how? 

Wow, that is a pretty broad statement!

Help the poor.

Everywhere you look there are the poor, the poor in spirit, the poor in ability, the poor emotionally, the poor mentally, and the poor financially. Most importantly the poor in giving.

It is not so much how much you do, but how much do you do with what you can?

God spoke to Moses, Moses did what God told him, and from there we saw Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt – a poor, beaten, wretched people. Moses wrote Exodus from all the experiences he had with God and what God told him! And in fact, wrote for him - the ten commandments. As a side note, these were the ten commandments, not suggestions.

From there Moses wrote the Book of Leviticus, a book that instructs people how to live, the rules if you will. In it we find…

If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. 

Leviticus 25:35-37 

The part I find most interesting and important was where it was written, “help them as you would a foreigner and stranger.” What does mean to me? It means that I am to help people who I do not know, who are foreign to me, and help my family and kin.

The standard definition of poor is someone lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society. Or someone that is experiencing or having something lacking to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society. The Hebrew word for poor is muk and it means to be low or depressed, to grow poor. The primitive root of the word muk means to become thin.

Rhett Smith a therapist and executive coach cites Brown, Driver, and Brigs, “It can also be thought of as “sinking or bending down or being brought low or humble”. (Brown, Driver, Briggs).” Samuel Odoma wrote, “Poverty is the greatest of man's known enemies as it has sent many to early graves, left many malnourished, while others perpetually remain in hopelessness and misery.” Finally, I leave you with what David Tuesday Adamo penned, “It is also used to mean the weak and the frail individual or groups of people who are underprivileged in a material, economic sense and are subject to abuse.”

 

We see that the definition encompasses over 90% of people in the world!

 

We are commanded in Leviticus 25:35 to help them. The KJV interpretation of the word hazaq is to “relieve” those who are suffering. Here are a few phrases that the definition of hazaq provides that we do for those in need: to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore, to strengthen oneself, to put forth strength, use one's strength to withstand, to hold strongly with.

What can we do – what should we do?

  1. Inform yourself of the issues. Do not go through life with blinders on, living with assumptions and probably incorrect facts. Pick a segment of the population that is hurting and do something positive.
  2. Fundraise for your cause. You can start a fund, a project, a mini crusade, and get some momentum with others to make a difference. My friend put a dozen bottle in his car and attaches a $20 bill to them and when he sees someone on the street that stirs him, he gives it to them.
  3. Volunteer! There are soup kitchens, free markets, outreaches, missions’ trip, at a local old age home, reading to kids in schools, there are hundreds of ways you can make a difference.
  4. Write your local politicians and above that, they must do more to help those with mental issues on the street. This is usually what happens with the homeless., they have issues that are not being addressed and they fall through the cracks. Find a cause, understand it, and start writing. You can make a huge difference with your vote and voice. Look at Greta Thunberg, an 11-year-old who has made a difference in global environmentalism.
  5. Food is a huge issue. People do not have enough food. Start a garden and donate your excess. But an extra item each time you go shopping and donate it into the food hamper. There are many ways to help with this, be creative.
  6. Find a cause you support and blog about it, put it on your Social Media, keep it in the forefront, advertise it on your website, keep the news coming!
  7. Get to know and be part of a micro-loan organization. It is one thing giving a hand-out but quite another to provide a hand-up. Microloans can help people start a business to support their family and this can perpetuate confidence, self-reliance, and the ability to others.
  8. Clothing and comfort are essential for the needy. Knit, sew, cull your clothing, cull your linens, do a clothing drive, do anything to provide comfort and warmth for those in need.
  9. Offer your services! If you are a barber/stylist cut hair, manicurist cut nails, dentist check teeth, and the list goes on. If you can do something to help, then do it. Put together a small group of diversely talented people and set aside a day to help those on the street.
  10. The list goes on and on – be creative, think out of the box, but most importantly – do something!

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

I would really like your opinions and thoughts, please share them in the comments section below. Also, if you liked the article please share it

 

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Bibliography

4134. muk. (2021, 2 21). Retrieved from Bible Hub: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4134.htm

Adamo, D. T. (2014, March 18). The poor in the book of Psalms and in Yoruba tradition. Retrieved from Scielo: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192014000300002#back2

ahmad, A. (2014, August 27). Top 10 Ways to Help Poor and Needy People. Retrieved from Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140827214710-141895933-top-10-ways-to-help-poor-and-needy-people/

Balslmo, C. (2021, February 21). Ways to Help the World’s Poor. Retrieved from Borgen Project: https://borgenproject.org/10-ways-to-help-the-worlds-poor/

Clothed in Grace. (2021, February 21). Retrieved from Clothed in Grace: https://clothedingraceblog.com/

Food For The Poor. (2021, February 21). Retrieved from Food For The Poor: https://www.foodforthepoor.org/

I want to help needy and poor people but I don't have money. How can I help them? (2018, November 16). Retrieved from Quora: https://www.quora.com/I-want-to-help-needy-and-poor-people-but-I-dont-have-money-How-can-I-help-them

Karlan, D. (2015, October 1). The Way to Help the Poor. Retrieved from Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-way-to-help-the-poor/

Leo, J. (2020, February 24). 10 Ways to Help the Poor. Retrieved from Borgen Magazine: https://www.borgenmagazine.com/10-ways-to-help-the-poor/

Lexicon :: Strong's H2388 - ḥāzaq. (2021, February 21). Retrieved from Blue Letter Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=h2388

poor. (2021, 2 21). Retrieved from Dictionary: https://www.google.ca/search?sxsrf=ALeKk01P4uRWYc6xy2_c2DM9CFzOtYcc_g%3A1613925942340&source=hp&ei=No4yYJOuEsvS-gTJ24LgAg&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAYDKcRoKmHTp0aVd2WAXII1SGKYG3mPve&q=What+is+the+definition+of+poor&oq=What+is+the+definition+of+poor&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3M

Releif, D. (2020, October 8). How to Help Improve the Lives of the Poor. Retrieved from wikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Help-Improve-the-Lives-of-the-Poor

Siddiqui, S. (2021, February 21). 12 tips for teens on how to help the poor and needy. Retrieved from Sound Vision: https://www.soundvision.com/article/12-tips-for-teens-on-how-to-help-the-poor-and-needy

Smith, R. (2018, May 9). Restoration Therapy: Depression and the Bible. Retrieved from Rhett Smith: https://rhettsmith.com/2018/05/restoration-therapy-depression-and-the-bible/

Swindoll, C. (2021, 2 21). Leviticus. Retrieved from Insight: https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pentateuch/leviticus